Trickle-Down Economics Is Working As Designed!

The economic system known as Reaganomics has been at work in The United States since 1981 and, as far as I can tell, is working as designed.  Here’s more evidence of the stunning success of supply-side economics (or, as George H. W. Bush referred to it, voodoo economics).

WASHINGTON — The recent financial crisis left the median American family in 2010 with no more wealth than they had in the early 1990s, erasing almost two decades of accumulated prosperity, the Federal Reserve said Monday.

The median family, richer than half of the nation’s families and poorer than the other half, had a net worth of $77,300 in 2010, down from $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said. The crash of housing prices explained three-quarters of the loss.

This vast loss of wealth was compounded by a loss of income, as the earnings of the median family fell by 7.7 percent over the same period.

And who is paying the price for our renewed commitment to supply-side economics?  Why, the middle-class, of course!

The losses of income and wealth fell most heavily on the middle class. Families with incomes in the bottom and top 20 percent of the population sustained smaller losses on a percentage basis than those families in the middle 60 percent.

I love it when a plan comes together!


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59 thoughts on “Trickle-Down Economics Is Working As Designed!

  1. Forgive me Phil, but I don’t follow your reasoning. The link you cite mostly (75%) blames the housing crisis. The housing crisis has been blamed on Glass-Steagall (fuel perhaps, but not cause), CRA (main cause) and the bailout culture that dates back to the 1995 rescue of the peso (pronounced Goldman Sachs). I’ve never read or heard anything linking supply side economics to a drop in housing prices. I could be wrong, enlighten me.

    1. Do I need to spell out the source of the asset bubble for you? Or can you work it out for yourself?

      I would recommend this book if you’re really interested in learning how supply-side economic thinking destroyed our economy.

      1. First Phil, our economy is just fine. The President said so last Friday. (Heh)

        Second, I read the synopsis of the book you cite and it does not mention supply side economics. I’m not sure who this Yves guy is (nice name though) but I really don’t care. I’m just looking for the logic that ties lower overall tax rates to the housing crisis. Surely you can sum it up in a few tweets.

        1. Supply-side economics is the at the root of crony capitalism. It advocates significant asset transfers (via tax cuts and other encouragements) to the economic supply side (i.e. producer). It does this at the expense of the demand side which the supply-siders regard as a consequence of the process rather than the raison-d’etre of the process.

          It is that culture of asset transfer, private profits and public risk, that is the heart of supply-side economics. So, you see, the entire housing crisis is the result of the aggressive de-regulation of the financial sector along with the socialization of the losses that ensured the system would fail.

          So yes, I blame the housing crisis on the advocates of supply-side economic policies.

          1. So now it’s the “avocates” of supply side, eah Phil? I thought we were discussing whether it was across the board tax cuts per se. No wait, that’s what we were talking about before you tried to inject this word into the premise. Clever of you to do this change of premise though. In the universe of supply side “avocates” I’m sure you could find at least two that had something to do with the housing crisis. Likewise, I’m sure in the universe of Spotted Cow drinkers, two could be found to have had something to do with the crisis. Do you also hang the stone of blame on New Glarus Brewing? Didn’t think so.

            1. Oooo, the slippery slope straw man logical fallacy combo! Well done!

              SInce this is a blog post and not a refereed journal paper, I reserve the right to expand my argument in the comments section. If you don’t like it, take a hike.

              1. Phil, “expand my argument” usually involves corollaries and such. Not a reworking, a changing if you will, of root premise. That would be something like defeat. If you are in fact giving up, I accept your surrender. My terms will be made in a future comment thread sir. Don’t be too worried, I don’t require much tribute for such an easy victory. Just checking, you have a car right? Heh.

            2. Supply-side economics is the at the root of crony capitalism.

              Utter nonsense. So is President Obama a supply sider then? Because crony capitalism is alive & well in his administration.

              And this is nothing new. Crony capitalism is a problem that occurs in all political persuasions.

              1. Yes, President Obama is a supply-sider. If he weren’t, he’d be advocating a $2 trillion stimulus plan right now instead of talking about belt tightening. He extended tax cuts to the rich… hardly a strong Keynesian move.

                Who do you think supply-side economic policies are designed to benefit? The poor? Hardly. They benefit the wealthy and corporations, the very crony capitalists you pretend to rail against.

                Supply-side economic policies are designed to grow the crony capitalism class.

                1. Reminds one of discussions of semantics and pragmatics with Alice.

                  “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.

                  Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”

                  “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

                  “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

                  -Nemo knows what the meaning of is is.

  2. Here’s an easy thought expirement: Compare the 30 years post Roosevelt to the 30 years post Reagan, particularly vis the growth/contraction of the middle class. We’ve been on a downward slide for these last 30 years and all we get from the media and the right is that “government never created a job”. All anyone needs to remember is that in the 90’s a person could negotiate their wages because unemployment was so low. Nobody on the right EVER wants to return to that scenario, and we never will if they are allowed to continue to buy elections and make the $18,000 a year janitor blame herself for this economy.

    1. The CRA is certainly A culprit, but far from the only one. The entire bailout culture, started by bailing out the peso (pronounced crony) in 1995, by a President with an interesting humidor, could be argued to be the main cause. Showing anyone that they can take steep risks with no downside (to them) is not supply side economics, it’s crony capitalism.

  3. Exactamundo Phil Scarr. The goal of Piss Down Your Back and Tell You It’s Raining Reaganomics has been to return this country to it’s rightful owners the Wealthy.

    The 1% have little need of 99% of America because so much of what they want can be provided by foreign markets.

    What those invested in Supply-Side have always wanted is a political and economic model with which they are comfortable; Neo-Feudalism, in which their profits are privatized and their evilly stolen wealth is ruthlessly protected by Government and their losses are socialized and paid for by the 99%.

    The 1% don’t need you. But, what they do need every so often is to eliminate Uncertainty. And that is why the filthy 1% who deliberately caused the economic collapse and the housing bubble are now trying to convince enough people that it was caused by social programs for the poor and middle class.

    Because they need their Wholly Bought and Paid for Republican Party and Pro-Business Democrats to eliminate Uncertainty so that they may turn all of America into A Galt’s Gulch. But a special Galt’s Gulch in which, they live as Lords and the 99% will live as serfs and wage slaves mining their gold, picking their arugula and quietly dying off when their working years are over.

    Because that is Certainty the 1% are Striving towards; Rand’s Ultimate Vision for the 99%, for the Common Man, that he toil unobtrusively underneath the feet of the 1% Colossuses and have the courtesy to die quickly and quietly.

    1. Wow G, just wow. In your comment, we find the roots of the results of June 5. In chapter 3 of Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War” it states:

      So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.

      If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.

      If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.

      By defining the right (incorrectly) as a monolithic cliched stereotype you’re not going to win a hundred battles without a single loss. Conversely, the Right often understands the Left better than the Left. Could be a forest for the trees thing, don’t know for sure. Until this changes (and let’s face it, redistricting is not an ally either) victories in Badger land are going to be few and far between for progressives.

      1. Nemo,

        You are caught in the righ left paradigm. Supply-Side and now Walker has always been about Wealthy versus Middle Class and Poor.

        What you are doing is aiding the Koch Brothers and all those invested in workers aiding the Race down to the Bottom.

        Enjoy your victories over the left I’m sure it’ll feed your family and provide you safe drinking water…

        1. G, we clearly disagree on the nature of across the board tax cuts, but I have to say that your measured tone and lack of Nemo directed pejoratives have won my respect. Well done sir!

            1. Revenue, Jobs.
              Fairness, Progress are a few.
              Is that good for you?

              -Nemo, Full time Engineer, part
              time Haikuist

              1. Not in the slightest. Explain the economic mechanism whereby supply-side advocates justify tax cuts. I can do some interpreting from the few meager words you provided, but I’d like an explanation of how supply-side economists justify tax cuts. If you can, contrast it with the demand-side arguments in favor of tax cuts.

                Revenue: So cutting taxes increases tax revenue? Are you going Arthur Laffer on me here? Examples, please. Because I’ll show you how the periods of highest GDP growth also corresponded to periods of higher taxation. Tax research shows that a top marginal rate of aout 65% will yield the highest revenue.
                Jobs: Cutting taxes makes jobs? Examples. Please explain the poor job performance of the Bush administration which made massive tax cuts
                Fairness: Please explain how reducing tax revenues constitutes “fairness”
                Progress: No idea what you’re talking about…

                1. For someone that has fixed a rather low value to my responses you sure seem to be crying for more of ’em. Someday you must post a picture of your treasured pocket lint collection.

                  So you know the works of Professor Laffer. Good for you. You also seem to understand that revenue derived from a 100% tax would pretty much equal that from a 0% tax. Good again young padawan. And welcome to the supply side.

                  -Nemo, these are not the droids your looking for.

                2. Laffer would suggest (and I think a few of those in the photo above were in that restaurant when he scribbled his idea on the napkin) there are two tax rates which bring in the same amount of tax revenue, but even he, I’m sure, would roll over in his grave (he’s dead right?) to see how his ideas have been used to justify these ridiculously and historically low rates. There’s no longer a matching rate on the other side of the curve because it’s fallen off the chart completely.

  4. You said “main cause” in your first post. So which is it? Main cause or a culprit? Show me the data?

    1. Eggbert, I don’t see that “main cause” and “culprit” need to be mutually exclusive. Couldn’t one be the other?

      As for the data, let’s start small. Do you agree that the CRA ultimately contributed to the housing crisis?

      1. The CRA was hardly even A culprit, it merely provided the fodder from which the banks created the toxic assets (CDOs). It was the banks who bear 99.9% of the burdon of the crisis.

        1. Phil, are you saying that the CRA had nothing to do with the housing crisis? Where did you get that 99.9% figure you state? Careful, credibility sublimes away much faster than it condenses.

          1. It’s not a “figure” but rather a statement of the degree to which CRA had nothing to do with the crisis. And I frankly don’t give a shit what you think of my credibility. Seriously… I value your opinion of my post about as much as I value pocket lint.

  5. Eggbert, “Nope” that “main cause” and “culprit” need not be mutually exclusive or “Nope” the CRA ultimately contributed to the housing crisis. Ambiguity, fear it.

  6. Keep going, Nemo. This site isn’t known for rigorous arguments, but maybe you’ll get one. In the books I’ve read, which I think are pretty middle-of-the-road, I’ve never heard claim that supply-side economics was a contributor at all to the housing crisis.

    In fact, my general impression was that the Reagan tax cuts of ’81 (’82?) were pretty much reversed by the Reagan tax increases in ’86. To the extent they survived, they may have been a contributor to the balanced budgets of the later Clinton years. (Though I suspect those budgets were balanced mostly on the taxes of the bubble profits and somewhat on a bit too much scaling back of military spending.)

    So throw out supply-side economics. The best explanations I’ve heard for the housing crisis attribute it primarily to: 1) interest rates were left too low for too long after the 2001-2002 recession, 2) repeal of Glass-Steagal (a bipartisan decision), 3) the Basel 2 changes that allowed banks to treat all highly-rated-by-the-ratings-agencies bonds as meeting their strongest capital requirements, 4) a change in the ratings agencies’ business models–allowed by regulators–whereby they’d be paid by the bond issuer, instead of bond buyers (thus introducing a raging conflict of interest), 5) a general push by politicians of most stripes to encourage home ownership by a number of means, and 6) the suppression of the views of the one or two regulatory agencies who warned that this was all a house of cards.

    Combine all those governmental mistakes with a) both fraudulent and stupid lenders, b) deceitful mortgage packagers lying to the ratings agencies, c) idiotic investors buying mortgage bonds and CDOs, d) naive and greedy homebuyers believing somebody must be minding the store–so the free lunch really was free, e) naive and idiotic bankers who ignored counter-party risk, f) cowboys selling insurance they couldn’t back, and g) ratings agencies completely dependent on models whose assumptions they didn’t understand, and hiding behind their ratings as “opinions”.

    Oh yes, there’s plenty of blame to go around. I’d say “supply-side economics advocates” rank #20 or so, at most.

    1. By way of full disclosure, Eric and I used to work together years ago in California and have sparred frequently over politics, economics and policy. Welcome, Eric!

    2. Thanks Eric. I only play to get a better understanding. Sometimes a thoughtful comment such as yours will force me to modify my own position. Thanks again. As for this thread, I’ve offered reason and received ambiguity, orienteering requests (take a hike) and pocket lint. I think we’ll call it done and move on.

      It’s been fun all!


  7. A re-hash of the causes of the mortgage market fiasco.

    It was a real estate bubble – and largely localized. Would have been no big deal. The moment Fannie & Freddie started accepting sub-primes the die was cast. And it’s not hindsight – I remember reading Wall Street Journal articles at the time, discussing the change and the enormous risk they were taking. Banks wouldn’t have taken on all those bad risk borrowers unless then knew they could get rid of them. Sure to some degree, the CRA and other political pressure to expand home ownership to lower income and/or inner city borrowers. But corporate institutions put pressure on them to lower their standards as well.

    Had those two GSE’s behaved responsibly, the scale of the crisis would have been a fraction of what it was.

    1. It was a real-estate bubble but it was not localized. Spain experienced the same bubble. The whole Fannie & Freddie sub-prime fiction is part of the Big Lie from the crony capitalist class that is complete and total bullshit.

      Here are key things we know based on data. Together, they present a series of tough hurdles for the big lie proponents.

      The boom and bust was global. Proponents of the Big Lie ignore the worldwide nature of the housing boom and bust.

      A McKinsey Global Institute report noted “from 2000 through 2007, a remarkable run-up in global home prices occurred.” It is highly unlikely that a simultaneous boom and bust everywhere else in the world was caused by one set of factors (ultra-low rates, securitized AAA-rated subprime, derivatives) but had a different set of causes in the United States. Indeed, this might be the biggest obstacle to pushing the false narrative. How did U.S. regulations against redlining in inner cities also cause a boom in Spain, Ireland and Australia? How can we explain the boom occurring in countries that do not have a tax deduction for mortgage interest or government-sponsored enterprises? And why, after nearly a century of mortgage interest deduction in the United States, did it suddenly cause a crisis?

      These questions show why proximity and statistical validity are so important. Let’s get more specific.The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 is a favorite boogeyman for some, despite the numbers that so easily disprove it as a cause.It is a statistical invalid argument, as the data show.

      For example, if the CRA was to blame, the housing boom would have been in CRA regions; it would have made places such as Harlem and South Philly and Compton and inner Washington the primary locales of the run up and collapse. Further, the default rates in these areas should have been worse than other regions.

      What occurred was the exact opposite: The suburbs boomed and busted and went into foreclosure in much greater numbers than inner cities. The tiny suburbs and exurbs of South Florida and California and Las Vegas and Arizona were the big boomtowns, not the low-income regions. The redlined areas the CRA address missed much of the boom; places that busted had nothing to do with the CRA.

      The market share of financial institutions that were subject to the CRA has steadily declined since the legislation was passed in 1977. As noted by Abromowitz & Min, CRA-regulated institutions, primarily banks and thrifts, accounted for only 28 percent of all mortgages originated in 2006.

      Nonbank mortgage underwriting exploded from 2001 to 2007, along with the private label securitization market, which eclipsed Fannie and Freddie during the boom. Check the mortgage origination data: The vast majority of subprime mortgages — the loans at the heart of the global crisis — were underwritten by unregulated private firms. These were lenders who sold the bulk of their mortgages to Wall Street, not to Fannie or Freddie. Indeed, these firms had no deposits, so they were not under the jurisdiction of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp or the Office of Thrift Supervision. The relative market share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped from a high of 57 percent of all new mortgage originations in 2003, down to 37 percent as the bubble was developing in 2005-06.

      Private lenders not subject to congressional regulations collapsed lending standards. Taking up that extra share were nonbanks selling mortgages elsewhere, not to the GSEs. Conforming mortgages had rules that were less profitable than the newfangled loans. Private securitizers — competitors of Fannie and Freddie — grew from 10 percent of the market in 2002 to nearly 40 percent in 2006. As a percentage of all mortgage-backed securities, private securitization grew from 23 percent in 2003 to 56 percent in 2006

      These firms had business models that could be called “Lend-in-order-to-sell-to-Wall-Street-securitizers.” They offered all manner of nontraditional mortgages — the 2/28 adjustable rate mortgages, piggy-back loans, negative amortization loans. These defaulted in huge numbers, far more than the regulated mortgage writers did.

      Consider a study by McClatchy: It found that more than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending. These private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year. And McClatchy found that out of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006, only one was subject to the usual mortgage laws and regulations.

      A 2008 analysis found that the nonbank underwriters made more than 12 million subprime mortgages with a value of nearly $2 trillion. The lenders who made these were exempt from federal regulations.

      A study by the Federal Reserve shows that more than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions. The study found that the government-sponsored enterprises were concerned with the loss of market share to these private lenders — Fannie and Freddie were chasing profits, not trying to meet low-income lending goals.

      Beyond the overwhelming data that private lenders made the bulk of the subprime loans to low-income borrowers, we still have the proximate cause issue. If we cannot blame housing policies from the 1930s or mortgage tax deductibility from even before that, then what else can we blame? Mass consumerism? Incessant advertising? The post-World War II suburban automobile culture? MTV’s “Cribs”? Just how attenuated must a factor be before fair-minded people are willing to eliminate it as a prime cause?

      I recognize all of the above as merely background noise, the wallpaper of our culture. To blame the housing collapse that began in 2006, a recession dated to December 2007 and a market collapse in 2008-09 on policies of the early 20th century is to blame everything — and nothing.

      1. Nor does it seem, by your own evidence, to be caused by across the board tax cuts implemented in the early 80’s. Thanks for your help in showing the error of the original posting Phil.

        -Nemo clicking Post, still giggling.

        1. Nice try, lint, but it’s clear that you have no concept of the breadth of supply-side economic failure. Let’s first start with basic definitions. What is encompassed by the term “supply-side economics?” (FWIW, you can use the term Chicago School or Freshwater Economists as a synonym for Supply-Side Economics) From Wikipedia:

          Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought that argues that economic growth can be most effectively created by lowering barriers for people to produce (supply) goods and services, such as lowering income tax and capital gains tax rates, and by allowing greater flexibility by reducing regulation. According to supply-side economics, consumers will then benefit from a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices. Typical policy recommendations of supply-side economists are lower marginal tax rates and less regulation.

          So they key requirements of the supply-side school are:

          1. Lower economic barriers to producers
          2. Lower income tax and capital gains tax
          3. Reduce regulation

          So let’s put our thinking caps on and see how I might be right about the role of supply-side economics in the financial crisis. Can we try that, lint?

          So do you think that deregulating the financial industry might have had an impact on the financial crisis?
          Do you think that the supply-side economists were pushing for that deregulation?
          Remember Glass-Steagall? Who was advocating for it’s repeal?
          Remember how we had no significant financial crises in banking (not including the S&L crisis) until the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act removed all the obstacles to reckless financial industry behavior?

          Let’s look at the S&L crisis of the late 80s and early 90s. What do you suppose precipitated that? Could it have been deregulation? You bet.

          The policies of deregulation, a core tenant of supply-side economics was responsible for the crisis of 2007 – 2009 as much as anything else. A laissez-faire attitude toward banking lead directly to the current crisis.

          Dots connected. Next.

        2. Since you clearly don’t know the answer to the question I posed RE economic foundations of supply-side tax cuts, let me help you out.

          Supply-side economists believe (although I don’t really believe that they believe this because it’s so incredibly dumb) that if you cut people’s taxes, they will work more (i.e. tax cuts will increase the labor supply). Got that? Reducing taxes means people will put in more hours. Yeah… that’s right. There’s your “supply-side” tax cut explanation.

          Of course the rest of the economic discipline laughs at them heartily for this absurdity. The real impact of tax cuts are on the demand side: it puts more money in people’s pockets.

          But since nearly all supply-side economics is complete hooey anyway, one more example of stupidity makes not much difference to the illegitimacy of their models.

          1. Phil, tax cuts will increase the capitol supply. You can get more Labor with more capitol. Therefor, tax cuts can increase the Labor supply. Extending your loss to lint is not helping your cause.

            -Nemo believes in transitivity of implication

            1. That’s certainly the myth that supply-siders want to believe, lint. Too bad it proves to be a ridiculous fallacy lacking any actual data to support it.

              The demand-side impact of tax cuts are decidedly more significant (by orders of magnitude) than any supply-side effect as to make the supply-side effect a non-effect in comparison.

              A study of response to changes in taxation by Emmanuel Saez, Joel Slemrod, and Seth H. Giertz entitled The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review is revealing:

              Even at the top of this range the U.S. marginal top rate is far from the top of the Laffer curve. However, the elasticity of taxable income is higher than one would calculate if the sole behavioral response were labor supply. There is also much evidence to suggest that the ETI is higher for high income individuals who have more access to avoidance opportunities, especially deductible expenses.

              Labor supply is little impacted by changes in the tax regime.

              Second, while there is compelling U.S. evidence of strong behavioral responses to taxation at the upper end of the distribution around the main tax reform episodes since 1980, in all cases those responses fall in the first two tiers of the Slemrod (1990, 1995) hierarchy—timing and avoidance. In contrast, there is no compelling evidence to date of real economic responses to tax rates (the bottom tier in Slemrod’s hierarchy) at the top of the income distribution. In the narrow perspective where the tax system is given (and abstracting from fiscal and classical externalities), the type of behavioral response is irrelevant. However, in the broader perspective where changes in the tax system such as broadening the tax base, eliminating avoidance opportunities, or strengthening enforcement are possible options, the type of behavioral response becomes crucial. While such policy options may have little impact on real responses to tax rates (such as labor supply or saving behavior), they can have a major impact on responses to tax rates along the avoidance or evasion channels. In other words, if behavioral responses to taxation are large in the current tax system, the best policy response would not be to lower tax rates, but instead to broaden the tax base and eliminate avoidance opportunities to lower the size of behavioral responses.

              Changes in tax rates impact behavior only in that they impact avoidance and evasion, not labor supply.

              The foundations of supply-side tax cuts are built on sand.

              1. Ooooh. Getting kinda thin here. You’re attempting to disprove transitivity of implication? Kids, quick, hide your Modus Ponens and Tollens, lest Phil try to break ’em too. I guess some people just can’t have anything nice.

                -Nemo, Bazinga!

      2. A study by the Federal Reserve shows that more than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.

        And yet, by 2008, Fannie & Freddie owned or guaranteed half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market” Source.

        Lenders would not have been issuing them – at leaast not nearly that widely – if the GSE’s weren’t going to take them off their hands. To get from 84% issued by lenders to 50% held/backed by Fannie & Freddie means that the lenders were issuing them, collecting their fees & then dumping them so they’re off the hook down the road.

        And the bubble was most certainly localized. The inflation that went on in most of the country (for example here) was nothing remotely as severe as in the worst areas. We didn’t see nearly the fall because we didn’t have nearly the same insanity on the run up. Take away California & Florida & the US numbers look entirely different.

        1. Lenders would not have been issuing them – at leaast not nearly that widely – if the GSE’s weren’t going to take them off their hands.

          Except they weren’t dumping them on Fannie and Fredie, they were chopping them up into CDOs and selling them as securities backed by Credit Default Swaps (which drove AIG into the gutter). The regulatory environment which spawned this crisis was quite simply that there was no regulatory environment. The shadow banking system ran amok and was then bailed out.

          That is the point here. That is the driving force behind the supply-side fraud.

          Unregulated markets are markets that fail.

          1. Simple question then…

            How did Fannie & Freddie end up with them?

            Who set the standards for conforming loan? hint…it wasn’t AIG.

  8. You were doing SO well, Nemo, without the “Nemo in the third person caveman-speak”.


    STILL not clever, Nemo.


    Zuma Bound: Nemo apparently still needs new schtick.

    Nemo: “(*grunt*) “Have new stick, already, Zoooo-MAH. (*grunt*)”

    Zuma Bound: “Schtick”, NOT “stick”, Nemo.

    Now, throw that stick away, and let me tell you the story of a caveman/engineer who was actually funny, “The 2000 Year-Old Man”, and of the man who gave him voice and who understood the value of a clever and funny “schtick”.

  9. Sorry Zuma, didn’t mean to offend. I sometimes use a author’s sign off to add an emotional flavor to my ramblings. I didn’t intend it be be taken as “Schtick” or “stick” or even “inert carbon rod”.

    -Nemo still believes DEVO rules them all.

        1. You’re a little anal, aren’t ya, big guy? (*laughing*)

          But, hey, most nerds are.

          Stop being so hard on yourself, huh?

          Most of the time, our brains just fill in the blanks, right? I didn’t actually catch the grammar errors until you pointed them out. Well, anyway, now I get your odd grammar reference in the “Nemo says” sign-off you directed to me. I guess it was more about you, than me, huh? (*laughing*)

          You’re a odd duck, Nemo. Endearing, but odd.

          Zuma out.

      1. You’re hopeless, Nemo. However you want to rationalize it, in plain and simple terms, it’s lame. In any event, you’ve always used it as a snarky sign-off. “Emotional flavor”? Yeahhhh. (*laughing*). I don’t think so.

        Not sure where the gratuitous reference to grammar correction came from, but thanks for illustrating my point about the snarky subtext of your sign-offs.

        Well, anyway, Nemo, no use in beating a “dead horse”, huh? You seem wedded to the “caveman third person “Nemo says” shtick, so I’ll just leave you to it, with the observation that your continuing use of it, not to mention your myopia regarding its “lame-itude”/”lame-osity”, only serves to remind me of the things that Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” thinks are cool, no matter what normal, reasonably perceptive people think, or what anyone else tells him, about them.

        As Sheldon, might say, “Bazinga”, you cute, clueless nerd.

        Yeah. “Bazinga!” No one else gets it, either. Kind of like your “Nemo says” shtick.

        Take care, Sheldon, uh, I mean, Nemo.

        By the way, Phil is a far tougher adversary than I ever was. Good luck with that, huh? (*laughing*) For the record, he’s got you on the ropes here.

        Anyway, it’s been fun. But I still think that you need to drop some acid and loosen up some. AND you need to realize that, like Sheldon, you’re just NOT as “awesome” as you seem to think you are.

        Deep-sixing “Nemo says” would be a good start for you along the path to self-awareness and de-nerd-ification.

        I’m off to minister to a sick girlfriend, and maybe watch an episode of “The Big Bang Theory”. Being an ex-nerd, I can both relate to, and make fun of, the guys on the show. . .and you.

        Ciao, Nemo.

        You’re Phil’s precocious “problem child” now.

        1. Always a pleasure Zuma. Hope your sick girlfriend feels better. Summer colds, yeech.

          -Nemo, Bazinga **snort**

          1. It IS always a pleasure, Nemo, and thank you for your kind words.

            If only what ails Susan was a summer cold. She has been battling a highly aggressive form of brain cancer called Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiform (two operable right parietal lobe tumors, which were removed immediately, and an inoperable tumor in the brain stem) for the last year, the silver lining being that this kind of cancer doesn’t leave the brain. I’ve become her 24/7 caretaker.

            The good news is that Susan is holding her own (no evidence of the disease to the right parietal lobe, and a slight regression in the size of the brain stem tumor) for now, much to the increasing delight and astonishment of her medical team.

            We take it one day at a time, and look for, and find, the beauty in each one of them.

  10. Nemo: “Sorry Zuma, didn’t mean to offend.”

    Me: Come on, Big N. You know me better than that.

    You’re a worthy opponent, and I’ve always enjoyed debating you. That said, I still think that “The Nerd” is far too strong with you, and you need to take steps to embrace the world in a more spiritual way. Drop a little acid, smoke a little weed, listen to some New Age/ambient music (try Sheila Chandra), read “Dancing In The Mindfield” by Kary Mullis, learn to tame the nerd within by expanding your horizons in ways you might not have heretofore considered.

    DEVO is okay. But it’s Nerd Rock. Smoke a doobie and go listen to Hendrix. . .or Sheila Chandra. It will put you right.

  11. Nerdilorian count, heh. Drugs? Nah. Leia and I are going to take the Falcon to Lake-dore and imbibe in golf, skiing, SCUBA, campfires, whiskey, cigars and loon song. To each his own, eah? As for the weekend’s music, been getting into some older Johnny Cash stuff (Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line), Missing Persons (Words, Walking in LA), Marvin Gaye (The Ecology), Yes (Leave it) and Eyna (Orinoco Flow) lately, but it’s all good.

    -Nemo, 8 gallons away from a free Brewers ticket.

    1. @ Nemo

      Since you’re getting into Johnny Cash, I have a Johnny Cash story if you’re interested.

      Back in the mid-1990s, a business partner and I had some office and recording studio space in a production facility located in an office building in Universal City, California, right across the freeway from Universal CityWalk.

      One of the other tenants was a company that did a lot of music and voice-over work for commercials. I don’t know if you’ll remember the Sears tires commercials from 1997 which used music from various artists who had done songs involving “action” verbs which could be tied into tires. Anyway, one of Johnny Cash’s songs was going to to be used in one of the commercials, so he had to come in to do some voice-over work.

      My getting to meet Johnny Cash isn’t the best part of the story, though. It was something that had to do with the father of the guy, Brad, who was overseeing/producing the music and Johnny Cash’s voice-over work for the commercial.

      Brad was an accomplished musician, as all music producers are. But, while rock music was his thing, he used to joke that his father had but one artist in his music collection, and but one cassette in the tape deck of his pick-up truck. . .Johnny Cash.

      So, Brad asked Johnny if he would mind calling up Brad’s father and saying hello. Being the genial guy he was, and having been apprised of how highly Brad’s father thought of him, Johnny said, yeah, of course he’d make that call.

      Can you picture it? You’re Brad’s father, sitting at home, minding your own business, the phone rings, you pick it up, and the voice at the other end says, “Hello, my name is Johnny Cash”.

      As you might suspect, Brad’s father didn’t initially believe it was REALLY Johnny Cash, but he came around soon enough.

      I’ve always liked that story, and I’ve always liked Johnny Cash. Check out the acoustic American Recordings sessions that he did with former hip hop producer, Rick Rubin (Rubin was partners with Russell Simmons in Def Jam Records). Pretty amazing stuff. Chuck the big cancer sticks and smoke a doobie first, though, huh? (*wink*) He does a cover of a Nine Inch Nails song, and I wouldn’t want ya to get heart palpitations or anything, “old-timer”. (*wink*)

      Take care, Nemo. Godspeed.

  12. I know nothing about this subject other than our economy is a mess. Best to stay out except the conversations were stimulating … until the personal taunts appeared. As a member of Blogging Blue I thought our intent was to provide a forum for interesting debate. I have dropped below the civility bar too, but less and less of late because it is really tiresome, old and the Buddha gently admonishes us to refrain from harming others.

    Phil, I have a huge respect for your energy and thoughtful posts. I read yours everyday.

    Same for Nemo. I enjoy your writing and wit. Oh yeah, intelligence too. 😉

    Plus I love haikus and syrup.

    Anyway, let’s get it together, please.

    1. OS, always a pleasure. To be honest, Locke and Eric were excellent also but I really have to thank Zack (Thanks Zack!) for creating and maintaining a site where those that disagree without being (too) disagreeable can comment without the threat of banishment (Hi kay!).

      -Nemo, grateful yet loud.

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