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Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Monday, July 28, 2008

X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

X-Files: I Want To Believe (2008)

Oh, it wasn't bad. And it wasn't good, either. I was creeped out at times, but it felt rushed, and strangely disjointed at times. The search for a missing FBI agent is complicated by the visions of a pedophile priest. How are these things connected? Best call Mulder and Scully. Basically, a typical episode of the TV series rather than an expansion or true deepening. This thing is gonna die FAST, and that's a little bit of a shame, because a non-alien X-Files movie was something I'd kinda looked forward to. One thing: Gillian Anderson is just terrific as Scully. She has the ability to show the camera depths of personality and emotion beneath a calm surface. A performance that belongs in a better movie.

WARNING: Mild Sambo Alert.

Rapper "Xzibit" plays an FBI agent. I am just sick of this (and so are many black actors, who have actually trained, only to find that studios cast rappers in plum roles). With the exception of Queen Latifah, Will Smith and Mos Def, most rappers present a surface, a shell, with nothing live beneath it. Acting is the revelation of sub-text, and these guys can't do it. It would be roughly equivalent to casting, say, one white actor in an otherwise all-black musical, with all of the blacks classically trained singers. The gap in capacity, and therefore the ability to express humanity, would be glaring. Now, there is one way in which this makes sense (actuallly more than one: rappers are pre-sold to an audience) and that is that most rappers today aren't singers, poets, musicians, or dancers--they "act" a particular tough and "street" personae. So I guess they ARE actors, but few of them reveal any actual humanity (as I've often said, compare rap music to Country-Western in terms of a spectrum of human emotion. No comparison at all. When rappers are cast in these roles, ESPECIALLY if they are the only black people present, it flattens them to a two-dimensional surface without love, feeling, or internal history. Black actors have complained for decades that white producers and writers denied them these things. I guess Hollywood has discovered a group that won't complain.

##

The "Daily Show" has been making great, hysterical fun of Obama's campaign. You should catch it. Anyone who thinks it isn't possible to satirize the guy isn't paying attention.

##

Someone said that I tend to make sweeping generalizations. Yes, I do--and then try to focus in from there. A couple that I use a lot ate:

1) All creatures will try to move away from pain, and toward pleasure.

2) Major human groups are roughly comparable in capacity. When you see large differences or dysfunctional aspects, look to the environment.

3) Those on the "Right" and "Left" have equivalent intelligence, integrity, courage, and patriotism. The difference is basic beliefs about the essence of what it is to be human: "does essence precede existence, or existence precede essence?" Questions that can be debated, but never answered.

I start with those assumptions (and others) and work outward from there. More esoteric thoughts such as all human beings are spiritual creatures having a fleshly experience also apply. One must be careful here. While in some senses, the oppressor suffers along with the oppressed, and all human experience, positive and negative, is equally valuable, you can use this attitude to justify incredible poverty and misery or slavery. Just as an awareness of the vastness of existence can make the suffering of an individual child seem trivial--if you lose your balance. All death, war, disease, and whatever can be trivialized, and under the right circumstances, that is a healthy reaction. It is entirely possible to care too much, to treat the suffering of every child on the planet as being as important as the cares and woes of your own children. Just try living that way: you'll destroy your family. We have to walk a careful line.

The question for the day: What large-scale generalizations do you use to navigate your world?

#

I got my hands on "The Adventures of Captain Marvel", arguably the very best serial ever made. Wow, it's fun, and the flying sequences (for the time) are just unbelievable. A few of them look better than anything I've ever seen, to this day: a shot of Captain Marvel jumping off a balcony and gliding down on a running man, obviously done real-time and without optical effects, is just thrilling. But man oh man, are there continuity problems in most serials. Especially in the cliff-hangers, where the filmmakers cheat like crazy. In another serial, "Undersea Kingdom" (starring a ridiculously athletic Ray "Crash" Corrigan--last seen in a monster suit in "It, the Terror From Beyond Space", the inspiration for "Alien) our hero falls down an elevator shaft--AND YOU SEE HIM PLUMMET TO HIS DEATH. In the next week's episode, he grabbed ahold of the side of the shaft, and survived: no plummet at all. Obviously, they hoped that by next week, you'd forget what you'd seen. What a gyp! Still, I love these things, and it's fun introducing them to Jason.

##

I want to state again that Jeff Martone at www.tacticalathlete.com is doing some really interesting fitness stuff. The man is a modern-day warrior who can do a Turkish Get-Up holding his wife. Yow. Anyway, his H2H "kettlebell juggling" work is probably as sophisticated a training method as you can get with a simple implement. Hard to imagine a physical attribute you aren't developing. You probably can't get extreme cardio, because coordination breaks down under fatigue: you'd need to switch to simpler motions. But his wife Maureen's KB Interval Training for Women DVD is still the only exercise video I've seen with an effective randomizer. That's just terrific. He also has something called "Superior High-Output Training" (S.H.O.T.) that takes his "juggling" idea to a higher level by using a 12-20 lb shot. The coordination requirements are a little higher than the H2H (maybe) but the lighter shot can be handled at greater speed. This feels more like a tool for developing athletic capacity, especially hand-speed, and the acceleration/deceleration strengthens connective tissues (so I believe--I've only been playing with it for a week). But a few of the drills (the "Tactical lunge with a Pop-up") for instance, look so applicable to martial arts or boxing it's just unreal. Others look like they'd be great for basketball or baseball. It looks like he's cross-bred Shot-Putting, Medicine Ball work, Kettlebells, and Juggling to create something really interesting. There are some smart folks out there doing fun stuff, that's for sure. Last Saturday, I adapted his circuit training idea from H2H to S.H.O.T. training, and did three three-minute rounds (30 seconds work to 30 second rest for each of three different combination drills), a total of nine minutes of work, using a 12-lb shot (I have a 16 pounder coming soon. Martone uses a 20-pounder, and makes it look disgustingly easy). Sunday my body felt tight, lean, and hard. After a Tibetan session, it felt loose and fast. Interesting. No idea where this goes, but it's FUN. I mean, you have to keep the thing going continually for 30 seconds to three minutes (at the higher levels), so the level of pure flow is beautiful. If I saw a man doing H2H drills at speed with a regulation 16-lb shot, I would assume that he had death in both hands. The amount of body dynamic necessary to do it is Shaolin level. He has clips on his website, so you can peek at what I'm talking about.

You know, as you get older, it's more and more important to entertain yourself in your daily routines. Don't let yourself get stale. I don't really mistake my enthusiasms for "wow! I've discovered the secret of the universe!" It's really more like: "here's something new to keep me amused until I find the next thing."

Little Stevie is rather tickled right now, and that's a good thing.

33 comments:

Chavo said...

Thanks for the thoughts on SHOT- haven't picked it up yet. It really is nuts to watch Jeff toss the 35# KB around- I think he gets extra swing from having really long arms- but the guy rocks.

I'll have to check it out.

Christian M. Howell said...

Rapper "Xzibit" plays an FBI agent. I am just sick of this (and so are many black actors, who have actually trained, only to find that studios cast rappers in plum roles).

The problem is as you state, "selling a known quantity" for audience recognition. WE told them that was who we wanted representing us. So all actors who don't lobby against gangsta rap have themselves to blame (it's not like any of them are REALLY tough - just make em move around enough til their pants fall, then get in that ass).


With the exception of Queen Latifah, Will Smith and Mos Def, most rappers present a surface, a shell, with nothing live beneath it. Acting is the revelation of sub-text, and these guys can't do it. It would be roughly equivalent to casting, say, one white actor in an otherwise all-black musical, with all of the blacks classically trained singers.


Of course they can't act. But then most actors can't carry an emotion an inch so no one will notice.


Black actors have complained for decades that white producers and writers denied them these things. I guess Hollywood has discovered a group that won't complain.



The key is white writers and producers. I am making the rounds with a positive, female driven drama for four black actresses. I might as well be making an orange alien movie with 100% nudity and erections.

It's a hard road but it's worth it. I'm writing young white kid fluff (well-written but fluff nonetheless) to sell just so I can have enough money for that type of movie.

There was a similar post on another blog I frequent and like I said there, "stop complaining and do it yourself."

Bill Cosby can pay for a few screens by himself. And let's not bring Oprah into it. She can upfront 1000 screens. If nothing else, it would be a nice write off.

Oh, I am available for writing and directing assignments. One thing though. My movies have no smoking, no sex and no nudity. there is lots of violence though: from schoolyard fights to removed uteri to bullet-riddled or blown-up bodies.

Dan Moran said...

The question for the day: What large-scale generalizations do you use to navigate your world?

Not sure it's a generalization, but it's a test that's sure had huge general application in my life: when I'm lying on my death bed, looking back, am I pleased with myself?

At the moment the answer's yes. Sometimes over the years it's been no. Walking around with that image of myself as a standup guy is hugely valuable to me and has guided my behavior more than almost anything else, including the opinions of friends and family.

I don't believe in an afterlife. But I do believe there are people lying in that bed waiting to check out who are filled with despair, and others who check out feeling like they fought the good fight. Does doing X take me in one direction, or the other?

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

My movies have no smoking

I tend not to write about people smoking not so much out of conviction as because I forget, when I'm writing, that some people smoke.

Christian M. Howell said...

I tend not to write about people smoking not so much out of conviction as because I forget, when I'm writing, that some people smoke.


I smoke, drink and love sex, but I don't really like them in movies. I just have never thought of a reason to have a person light up.

Smoking is equated with nervous or cool. My characters are neither. I do have a cool scene in one movie where we show smoke rising in the shadows cast by a streetlight ( we already revealed the characters in question smoke marijauna).

I just think that the passion leading up to sex can be more powerful.

It's like Alfred Hitchcock and the bomb. If the audience knows it there and it blows up, the fun is taken out of it.

I've noticed that there are less and less movies with explicit sex scenes nowadays and that's a good thing.

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, the old serial stuff is why Indy being blown up by an atomic bomb whilst hiding inside a fridge didn't bother me at all -- that's where Indy was born. Those are what Lucas and Spielberg cut their teeth on, long ago and far away, and always the intent of the Indy movies.

You knew the hero died, you saw it, but you also knew that come next Saturday morning's matinee, you would see that you hadn't quite seen it right last week.

You might want to check out the old Superman TV series -- those hold up pretty well, past the gaffes like seeing the camera reflected from a car door, or Superman and Clark Kent wearing the same pinky ring in the same show. Course, if Metropolis was so blind they couldn't see Supe past the glasses, a ring is no big deal ...

Marty S said...

Number one generalization is that "The devil is in the details".

The number two generalization is that most liberals don't understand finances.

How many liberals really understand that a retired couple age 65,who receive $35,000 a year from SS and having $1,000,000 in a 401k , living in their paid off house, driving a $20,000 dollar car 15000 miles a year and otherwise living modestly will likely go broke at about age 90 under the current tax structure and age 85 if the Bush tax cuts are repealed.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Some generalizations: Working towards physical efficiency (Alexander Technique and such) is really valuable. Everything has more richness if you pay attention to it. Here's one I live by which is somewhat problematic: People can't think straight when they're angry. People aren't kidding when they say they aren't experiencing the same thing you do. See above about the advantages of paying attention.

Christian M. Howell said...

BTW, my generalization is

Most people want something for nothing. People even want to do little work and get big dollars.

scituate said...

X-Files was average, not as bad as critics are saying. I was also excited about a non-alien story, but it was kind of weak. I liked Billy Connolly a lot though.

Elizabeth said...

I wasn't aware Xzibit was a rapper, so when I saw the movie I was more annoyed by the fact that the writing gave him absolutely nothing to go with.

Dan Moran said...

Interesting timing, Marty. The post I did this morning on my blog was about how conservatives don't understand finances:

The Sheep (don't) Look Up

Bush is gifting the President who follows him with a 490 BILLION DOLLAR deficit.

Do conservatives not understand that their grandchildren are going to be paying for their profligacy? Or do they just not care?

mjholt said...

The question for the day: What large-scale generalizations do you use to navigate your world?

I continually ask myself if I am doing the best that I can do.

Too often the answer is "no."

But on to economics. I have to add true conservatives to true liberals cannot do economics. However, I think Marty S is way low on the amount of money needed for retirement. Over ten years ago I was told that $2MM would be needed, and no one was thinking $5 to $10 per gallon of gas.

Two interesting articles:

PAUL B. FARRELL'S 11 reasons America's a new socialist economy
How free market ideology backfired, sabotaging capitalistic democracy

PAUL B. FARRELL Socialist America, Part 2 ... The Joker's wild! Dark Knight. Gotham City. "I am the agent of chaos," says "The Joker," the perfect metaphor for a binging alcoholic. "The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules."

Nancy Lebovitz said...

One and a half more generalizations: Malice exists, but it's rare compared to incompetence. Meaning well is better than meaning ill, but it has a limit as a justification for hurting people.

I don't know who's wronger about finance, but I believe that if you're middle-aged and want to be taken care of when you're old, you'd better be well above average in both love and money.

The hands to do the work in your retirement and take care of you if you're disabled aren't goint to be there. This isn't just about money or social arrangements.

I admit I haven't run the numbers, but what I'm seeing is a dropping birthrate and increasing prosperity, world-wide. These are good things for a number of reasons, but unless there are some huge technological improvements (health extension and/or robots), it isn't going to be feasible for very many people to retire for a third of their lives.

Marty S said...

Mjholt: You are absolutely right for most people. I didn't want to throw out big numbers like two or three million, because most people think thats a lot of money. My example assumed you were living very modestly. No vacations, no expensive luxury items. Buy your clothes at Wallmart,Marshall's and TJ max etc. It also assumed a modest 5% real inflation rate which is pretty optimistic. However, if you are already 65 you don't need as much as a younger person will need when they retire. My son and daughter in law are in their thirties. When, my daughter in law commented their goal was three million when they retire,I responded they would need at least five and that might not be enough.

But that's my whole point, liberals tend to label people with the kinds of assets we are talking about the rich.

Dan:
1) This administration has been terrible. I have said that repeatedly. There are incompetents in both parties and we suffer when one gets in.

2) If you read carefully what I said was not that liberals don't understand economics, but that they don't understand finances. Most liberals automatically classify you as rich, with a reactively modest amount of assets.

Dan Moran said...

mjholt,

I have to add true conservatives to true liberals cannot do economics.

Really? Why are liberal states do damned rich?

Mostly I let the pseudo-sophisticated "they're all just as bad as each other" stuff pass. But not in this area. Conservative ideology has trashed this country's finances -- you can have legitimate differences about the war in Iraq; the results aren't entirely measurable. These are, and the results are inferior to the results produced by liberals.

Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Wyoming, California, New Hampshire, Virginia, Colorado, Minnesota, Delaware .... what do these states have in common? Well, they're the 12 richest states in the country by per capita personal income. And the liberal Presidential candidate won 10 of them in 2004. (And might win 11 of them in 2008; Virginia's going blue.)

But this isn't just a recent phenomenon; these states have been rich, by and large, for quite a while. And liberal for a very long time, as well.

If liberalism produced such dreadful economies, wouldn't generations-long liberal states be poor? But the truth, as we all know, is that it's the generations-long conservative states that are poor.

Man, those guys are just as bad as each other. Except liberals are rich.

Marty,

1) This administration has been terrible. I have said that repeatedly. There are incompetents in both parties and we suffer when one gets in.

This isn't a problem with a particular conservative administration; it's a problem with conservative borrow and spend ideology. Reagan was no different.

2) If you read carefully what I said was not that liberals don't understand economics, but that they don't understand finances. Most liberals automatically classify you as rich, with a reactively modest amount of assets.

Marty, I always read you carefully. But when you get into the Bush tax cuts that helped put this country's economy into the toilet, now you're talking economics.

As to liberals classing you rich with a couple million in assets ... that depends. Single young people with a couple million in assets are rich. Old people about to die with a couple million in assets are rich. Someone 60, retired, good health, no other income ... not so much.

Curious where you live. The places where there are a lot of liberals, you wouldn't get that response. No one in West L.A., San Francisco, or Manhattan thinks 2 million in assets is wealth.

Marty S said...

Dan: While we agree on Bush, we disagree greatly with respect to Reagan on the economics. When Reagan came into office he was faced with economically destructive inflation rate courtesy of Jimmy Carter, He did what was necessary to kill inflation and succeeded. Inflation is a greater killer of the average family's finances than anything else.
By the way your point about West L.A., San Francisco, or Manhattan is a good one, but you see when Obama talks about his economic programs he always has flat income cutoffs like if you earn more than $50,000 you don't get the benefit and he doesn't take into account the local cost of living or even make the benefits graduated so they shrink rather than cutoff at a point. By the way I'm not picking on Obama, just using him as an example of what I see as liberal thinking.
By the way I live in Dutchess County NY.

Josh Jasper said...

I'm not so sure that the tax cuts helped, as much as the incredible deficit spending, lack of regulation of the financial/housing markets, (which Clinton gets some blame for as well) and lack of long term planning for energy consumption is what's really causing out pain.

We really have a perfect storm of economic disaster conditions. The question is, what will a disaster look like these days. It's not going to look like the 1930's.

My guess it, it'll result in a weakening of American economic dominance worldwide. We could bring ourselves out of it better, and more sensible, but it'd require eliminating conditions that give rise to the sort of paper castles that Wall Street boomed on.

If you listen to Wall Street, the big fear there is not how bad things have got, but how much regulation is going to result. In other words, no more paper castles means no more giant Wall Street inflated profits.

Wall street does not care if they have more collapses like the housing collapse. It's expected. We can either accept that, or not. I vote for not.

suzanne said...

The question for the day: What large-scale generalizations do you use to navigate your world?

1. Every action represents a person doing her/his best given his/her givens, at the moment of the action.

2. it is always possible to find
something good and/or beautiful in any situation

3. all love is about giving

4. change is the only constant

4.

Dan Moran said...

Marty,

I don't know of an economist, not even a conservative one, who says that the cure for a high rate of inflation is tax cuts for the rich + huge increases in government spending. This is what Reagan did -- lowered taxes on the wealthy via income tax cuts (and then raised them on working people by doubling the social security tax and the federal gas tax) ... and massively increased spending, mostly military. It's also what Bush did. It's not an accident they both got the same results.

The standard cure for inflation is to tighten credit and hike interest rates, not to blow the federal budget and raise taxes on working people and cut them on the rich ....

Mike Ralls said...

It is worth pointing out that since Reagan the growth rate of the US has been a full third higher, on average, than the other major developed economies (Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy), in rough terms our growth rate has been 3-4% while theirs has been 2-3%.

Josh Jasper said...

Dan -
The standard cure for inflation is to tighten credit and hike interest rates


Which risks causing stagnation in new businesses that legitimately need credit.

I think what we need is some sort of rational credit market - higher rates and tighter credit for those idiots who want to speculate with paper castles based on bad debt, and reasonable rates for businesses that have a good product, reliable customers and a valid plan.

I'm no finance expert, but that sounds sane to me. Of course, there might be some good reason why I'm wrong. Like I said, I'm no expert. Just someone who reads the news about this.

Marty S said...

Dan: You point out that ten of the twelve states with the highest per capita income are blue states and use that as an argument that liberals are better than conservatives at managing economics and this proves my point about liberal thinking on finances. If I live in state where the median income is $60,000 and a typical home cost $480,000 am I really better off than if I live in a state where the median income is $40,000 dollars and the typical home cost $250,000 dollars. You can't judge a person's economic well being by just his income and assets, you have to look at his whole circumstance.
As for Reagan he left the economy in much better shape than he received it. As for the tax cuts for the wealthy Dan try this compute the percent tax cut by the formula (1- taxes after cut/taxes before Bush tax cut) for people with incomes of $25000, $50000, $100000, $200000. When you discover the biggest percent cut goes to the family with the $25000 income will you still claim it was a tax cut for the wealthy.

Dan Moran said...

Dan: You point out that ten of the twelve states with the highest per capita income are blue states

Yep.

and use that as an argument that liberals are better than conservatives at managing economics

Yep. For generations on end.

and this proves my point about liberal thinking on finances. If I live in state where the median income is $60,000 and a typical home cost $480,000 am I really better off than if I live in a state where the median income is $40,000 dollars and the typical home cost $250,000 dollars.

Yep. Better theater, better culture, better schools, better colleges, better medical care, better restaurants ... beaches! Mountains & Skiing!

That's what being wealthy is.

If cheap land made wealth, we'd all move to Mexico.

I'll come back to the tax stuff later.

Marty S said...

Dan: First of all now your talking specifically the Big cities not the state. Not much theater or culture here in Dutchess county NY. As for better schools that's highly questionable also depending on where you live in N.Y we have some of the best and worse. As for the better colleges they accept applicants from all over the country and the better restaurants are so expensive that most people can't afford them.

Stephanie said...

I try to avoid generalizations, but then event happen like this in Chattanooga:
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/jul/28/church-shooting-police-find-manifesto-suspects-car/

and I find myself at a total loss - and scared - I've long feared in the back of my mind that the kind of rhetoric spewed out 24/7 by certain far-right talking heads had an underlying theme of violence implied.

But now that the inevitable has happened, I find myself fearful that more mini-bloodbaths will follow - and it's distracting me greatly in my daily life, and has for two solid days now.

I'm acquainted with a few people in that congregation, and I just can't wrap my brain around all of it.

Dan Moran said...

Marty,

Sure -- cities are the engines of wealth. And, of course, even more liberal than the states that surround them.

Nothing wrong with cheap housing. But the people buying it aren't richer than the people buying expensive houses.

I'll take your specific example: buying a more expensive house in a more expensive place. Sure, it's easier to buy a $200,000 house than a $450,000 house. No question about it. But when you're done, one guy owns a $200,000 house, and another owns a $450,000 house ... who's richer? They can both sell and go elsewhere.

Dan Moran said...

As for the tax cuts for the wealthy Dan try this compute the percent tax cut by the formula (1- taxes after cut/taxes before Bush tax cut) for people with incomes of $25000, $50000, $100000, $200000. When you discover the biggest percent cut goes to the family with the $25000 income will you still claim it was a tax cut for the wealthy.

Fully one-third of President Bush's tax cuts in the last three years have gone to people with the top 1 percent of income, who have earned an average of $1.2 million annually, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to be published Friday.

The report calculated that households with incomes in that top 1 percent were receiving an average tax cut of $78,460 this year, while households in the middle 20 percent of earnings -- about $57,000 a year -- were getting an average cut of only $1,090.


skip a bit ....

According to the new report from the Congressional Budget Office, about two-thirds of the benefits from the tax cuts, enacted in 2001 and 2003, went to households in the top fifth of earnings, with an average income of $203,740.

Two thirds of the tax cuts went to people in the top quintile of wage earners, averaging over $200K a year ... so yeah, I'm going with "tax cuts for the rich."

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A03E2D6173FF930A2575BC0A9629C8B63

Dan Moran said...

Josh,

Interesting idea, but I have a lot of questions about how you'd manage that. Somewhere along the line some financial officer needs to make a judgement call about the financial worthiness of an investment opportunity ...

Where we have a problem is in the fact that banks and investment houses, which use to be pretty cleanly separated, are incestuously intertwined these days. Google up Glass-Steagal sometime -- when it was passed, and when it was reapealed. You'll see why we didn't have another Great Depression for 70 years, and why we're staring at one today. You'll also get part of the reason why Bill Clinton isn't my favorite person. Almost every democrat in the senate voted against the repeal of Glass-Steagal -- but Republicans controlled the Senate in '99, and Clinton signed off.

It's a big part of why we're in the mess we're in today.

Marty S said...

Dan: Without the Bush tax cut a family with a taxable income $15000 a year would have paid $2250 dollars in taxes, while after the cut they would pay $1500 dollars, a mere savings of $750 dollars. The person who earned enough to pay $40000 in taxes after the cut now pays $35000 a savings of $5000 dollars so of course in absolute dollars more benefits go to the higher tax payer, but the question is in terms of impact on their life , which means more $750 dollars to the low income earner or $5000 to the high income earner. If we blanket repeal,rather than revise, the Bush tax cuts who will be hurt more in terms of life style.

Dan Moran said...

Marty, no problem on my end about rolling back the tax cuts on only people in the top 20%. That's 2/3rds of the value of the tax cut to begin with.

Few post back Mike observed that the U.S. had enjoyed a 3%+ economic growth rate ever since Reagan. Just for reference:

http://www.demandside.net/text/DSE-Chapter%204.pdf

FYI, the "real GDP" referred to here is (GDP - federal budget deficit).

"The average annual deficit under Democrats has been 0.5 percent of GDP. Under Republicans, it has been 2.0 percent (through 2004). Of the top borrowers, only Bill Clinton is a Democrat. He edges Richard Nixon for sixth place. It is only fair to note that Clinton inherited enormous annual deficits and stifling debt service costs from Bush I and bequeathed to his successor, the younger Bush, a budget surplus.

Democrats have been in the White House for 26 of the 61 years between 1946 and 2006. Real GDP growth has averaged 4.0 during that period.

Republicans have been in power the other 35 years, during which time Real GDP growth has averaged 2.8 percent per year. Net GDP, taking into account the federal borrowing,drops Democratic performance to 3.5 percent. The same adjustment for Republicans drops their number to a meager 0.8 percent. More than two-thirds of Republican growth has been borrowed. Since 1980 there has been zero Net Real GDP growth under Republicans."


I'm really happy to discuss Reagan. I even have a few good things to say about the guy if you want to discuss his stance on the Soviet Union. Economics, not so much.

Mike Ralls said...

>Democrats have been in the White House for 26 of the 61 years between 1946 and 2006. Real GDP growth has averaged 4.0 during that period.<

Most of those 26 years were in 40's, early 50's, and 60's. Economically speaking, the entire world's 1946 - 1973 era is very different from the present era. Tons of factors involved in why, but I can't think of a single significant advanced country that has seen growth rates at the same level over the last 30 years that it saw over the 30 years before that.

And as I said, the US has done significantly better over the last 30 years than any of it's developed counterparts. Our share of world GDP is higher now than it was in 1980, and that sure as hell isn't true for France, Britain, Japan, Germany, etc.

Mike Ralls said...

A 1% difference in GDP growth may not sound like a lot, but it ads up. Much of the South, the poorest area of America, is richer than a lot of Europe (Germany had about the same per capita income as Arkansa and North Carolina is richer than Britain ) and - this was not true 30 years ago.