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Consecrate this

Honestly, I don't know why I keep using this space to make fun of Libertarians. I'll have something more interesting to say soon, I hope. But they keep saying such amazingly ridiculous things, I can scarcely help myself.

Over at the once-majestic Atlantic, Megan McArdle, the World's Tallest Idiot, is putting on her sad face. How come why for? Because she and her affianced want to buy a house, you see, but all the ones in D.C. are full up with filthy rotten renters! Worse still, someone has informed these suboptimal, low-credit-having cretins of their legal rights, and they cannot simply be thrown out into the street to make way for more desirable human beings like, say, Megan McArdle. Can you imagine? Here is Megan McArdle and her fella, just as privileged as can be, and they cannot simply walk into the house they want and toss whatever low-income sleazeball moocher that happens to already be living there out on their ass! Why, if she were to strike down one of these hygienically challenged have-nots for their insolence, it's likely she would be the one to go to jail! That's justice for you.

Lest you think I exaggerate, it only gets worse the further you read. In the comments, it becomes clear that she's applying a Howard Roarkian 'never compromise' attitude towards her home-buying, and rejects the suggestions of some of her helpful toadies that might land her a nice house: she refuses to do anything like go over her ideal price, buy a fixer-upper, start out with a condominium, or look for a place in Virginia or Maryland. Her utter contempt at the very idea of adjusting her needs to fit the economic reality rather nakedly exposes her whole 'philosophy' for the childish greed that it is: baby wants what baby wants and baby wants it right now, and if baby doesn't get it, it's some poor person's fault.

It goes almost without saying that she's demonstrating another deep hypocrisy within the Randroid model: that these are people to whom the contract is more sacred than the word of God, unless said contract somehow comes to favor the less privileged, in which case it's some kind of a scam. We've seen this many times before (the most egregious example being how these folks are all in favor of big corporations leveraging their power to gain conditional advantages over their workers, but view unionism -- the attempt by workers to leverage their power to gain conditional advantages over their employers -- as one of the most grotesque abominations in the history of humankind). But Megan's bitching about landlord-tenant agreements that exhibit the extremely rare quality of favoring the tenant is even more asinine than usual; she essentially comes off as complaining about a perfectly legal, valid, contract-consecrated agreement between a capitalist and a consumer for no reason other than that it happens to inconvenience her. The Atlantic should be embarrassed to publish this claptrap; it would be laughable enough on the pages of a private blog.


Apr. 13th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Carnac The Magnificent Predicts
Six months from now, McArdle will write some piece lambasting the "swarm of lobbyists" who have descended on DC in light of (guessing) the healthcare bill. And it won't even occur to her to connect how immensely desirable DC is to live in or near with her prior difficulty in finding a place to live in or near DC. Won't even cross her mind.

I want her and Ezra Klein to have a baby so bad.
Apr. 13th, 2010 01:15 pm (UTC)
In which I am underinformed
I want her and Ezra Klein to have a baby so bad.

I'll bite. Why?
Apr. 13th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: In which I am underinformed
There's no real punch line: I also think Ezra Klein is pretty goofy.
Apr. 13th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Carnac The Magnificent Predicts
As much as I'd like to see what kind of Creature From The Deep would result in a pairing of the World's Dumbest Econo-blogger and Ezra "Hey, Everyone, I'm a 'Classical Liberal', No Really" Klein, I think it would be better for the future of mankind if neither of them were ever to breed.
Apr. 13th, 2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Carnac The Magnificent Predicts
Oh, come on. Why all the hate on Ezra?
Apr. 13th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
ooh, ooh, do this one next
I probably shouldn't be throwing you red meat, but here's a howler from Bryan Caplan. I'll just give you the first sentences:
There's been a lot of pushback against my claim that women were freer during the Gilded Age than they are today. I'm standing my ground.
Apr. 13th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
Re: ooh, ooh, do this one next
Mr. Kid is a genius, but I don't know if there's anything one can do with that. It's so beautifully hilarious on its own. Thank you so much for providing a laugh to start my morning.
Apr. 13th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
I think I'm actually too ill at the moment to laugh at Libertarians. This is not good.
Apr. 13th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Wow, it's both nonsensical and implausible. She tries to claim there's no houses for sale because a fictional mass of tenants won't cooperate with legal showings. I'll bet this happened once if at all; Meg probably refused to look at a place if the occupants were at home. Then she tries to elide an attack on tenants rights in general.

Then there's this exchange:
McMegan in reply to SeymourDark

Not in DC! There's a whole Office of the Tenant Advocate that will harass your landlord for free if he does you wrong. I resorted to it when a house we were going to rent, that was having some work done when we looked, turned out to have been renovated substantially below both code, and what we were promised.

anirprof in reply to McMegan

Kind of like the tenants you are describing were promised a 12 month lease?

McMegan in reply to anirprof

No one is voiding their lease. They're being asked to allow people in to look at the apartment. In four months or so, they'll be asked to move out. They may not even have yearly leases. I don't understand why you are stretching so hard to argue that behavior that is illegal is really entirely justified.

gmg22 in reply to McMegan

It's because you didn't write clearly enough about what the behavior in question constituted.

McMegan in reply to gmg22

Or because y'all immediately started looking for extremely unlikely scenarios in which the tenants were not violating their leases.

gmg22 in reply to McMegan

I don't see anybody doing that in these comments, actually. The question asked was if you could edit yourself to clarify what is and is not legal, instead of just writing as if all tenants are deadbeats.
Being a Randian hero apparently means not having to write coherently while you denounce laws you've used to your own benefit.
Apr. 13th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
She bugs the everlovin' shit out of me. I'm still paying attention to Will Wilkerson because of his whole Liberaltarian exploration, but McArdle rankles me in that "I'd hate-fuck her" kinda way.

I'm still devoted to Andrew Sullivan though, and Ta-Nahisi Coates even though I don't play WOW or obsessively watch football.
Apr. 13th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
She's just jealous because renting a house is awesome. I rent a house on over an acre of property with gorgeous views of the Catskills. The roof/skylight leaks onto the wood floor because my landlord is too lazy to fix it and I don't have to give a shit. Its great. And no taxes, bonus.
Apr. 14th, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Apr. 14th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)

I lived in Silver Spring and hated it. I don't want to live in an apartment, I can't afford to pay a housing premium for Maryland schools when we don't have kids, and I like being able to stay out past 11pm on weeknights. The suburbs are great if you have a lot of friends who live in the suburbs, if you have kids, or if you're really into gardening. But these phrases do not describe us.

...and my vein in my forehead almost burst.
Apr. 14th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
if the nation had DC's tenancy laws, we could have avoided the entire housing bubble. (CONTRARIAN COMEDY SCORE!)


flavored with age
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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