Take it to Burr, not each other

There's been a lot of complaining here and elsewhere about the runoff between Elaine and Cal; how it's going to waste valuable time and resources, and give Richard Burr more of an edge than he already enjoys heading into the general election.

I've also read much about how we need to put forward the candidate with the best chops to beat Burr. So I say this: Show me. Don't wait until June 23rd to start attacking Burr, do it now. If both the Marshall and Cunningham teams devote their time and resources educating the voters about the myriad reasons to replace Senator Burr, this runoff could be the worst thing that ever happened. To him.

And in case either of the campaigns need some information to draw from, spend a little time searching BlueNC. We've written critiques and expose's and grumbles and groans about Richard Burr for years now, so there's no shortage of material there.


Definitely. Take it to Burr. Both Elaine and Cal are up

in polling numbers against Burr according to the latest Rasmussen poll and if they spend their time telling the the people of North Carolina what they will do to show their differences regarding the odious voting record of Richard Burr in the Senate, they won't need to take it to each other. It will be a nightmare for Burr and both Elaine and Cal can highlight their different approaches which will give the voters plenty of information to make an informed opinion of which candidate they prefer in the runoff.

Rasmussen Survey of 1,200 Likely Voters in North Carolina
May 5, 2010

Election 2010: North Carolina Senate
Richard Burr (R)
Elaine Marshall (D)
Some Other Candidate
Not sure

Election 2010: North Carolina Senate
Richard Burr (R)
Cal Cunningham (D)
Some Other Candidate
Not sure

It's a close race! May the best candidate win! May both candidates be smart enough to fight the Republican and not the other Democrat.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

I Could Not Agree More


I agree

even if the money has to be focused on turning out the Democrats who will show up for an off-year run-off to a primary election, the attitudes should remain positive enough to avoid making the camps too divisive to unite afterward.

Just curious...

how do the two Democratic candidates differ on the issues?

For instance, where do they stand on the new Health Care "Reform" (rationing) law, or on spending borrowed "stimulus" money on "shovel-ready" road projects while teachers are being laid off?


Well actually dave I believe

Well actually dave I believe stimulus money was used to pay some teacher salaries this last year.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

I think you're right, Huh.

In fact, it seems like most government tax & spend schemes include a little something for schools, to help sell the package. It's a lot easier to pitch a lottery (a/k/a tax on poor and foolish people) or Keynesian "stimulus" (a/k/a massively wasteful boondoggle) if a teeenie bit of the money goes to schools. (That makes it "for the children," doncha know.)

I'd like to see a breakdown of where the stimulus money went.

At least around the Raleigh area, they are repaving roads (some of which need it), installing those annoying "traffic quieting" centerline barriers, erecting gigantic streetlight poles, etc., at a furious pace, while the things which we actually need government to do (like pay public schoolteachers!) get cut to the bone, and beyond.

Missallocation of resources like this is a form of inefficiency, which is why these schemes are bad economic policy.

Please indulge me, while I digress to explain a little bit of basic economics. The first principle is this:

Efficiency is the core driving principle of economics. You should never think about economics without thinking about waste vs. efficiency.

Have you ever wondered where the whole idea of "money" came from?

The best way to think of money is as a scheme to improve on the inefficiencies of its predecessor economic system, which was barter. That is the entire purpose of money. It exists only to improve efficiency (reduce waste) in the exchange of goods and services, with the result of enriching the participants in the economic system.

Plain barter was the earliest economic system.

It works like this: I have corn, you have fish. I want fish and you want corn. Let's swap.

Or maybe you don't want corn, but you want fishnets, and you know someone who makes fishnets and wants corn. So you swap your fish for my corn, and then lug the corn over to the guy with the fishnets, and swap it for what you really want.

This sort of thing can work, but it becomes progressively more cumbersome and inefficient for 3-way, 4-way, and more-way transactions.

In this case, as far as you are concerned, corn is just an "exchange medium. " You have little use for it, except to exchange it for something else.

But corn is not ideal for that purpose. It has a tendency to spoil (so you can't save it up for very long), and its value varies considerably depending on the quality of the year's harvest. Also, it is bulky and heavy, for its value.

Valuable metals like gold and silver make better exchange commodities. They are more portable, and they don't rot, and mice don't eat them, and they don't fluctuate in value as much.

But they are still rather cumbersome to use. If someone offers you gold dust for your fish, you need to weigh it and assay it for purity. What a pain -- and what a waste of your time (inefficiency).

The next stage in the development of a monetary system was gold and silver coins. Gold and silver can be standardized in quantity for easy use in transactions. So instead of exchanging your fish or corn for fishnets, you exchange them for gold and silver coins, and then exchange gold and silver coins for fishnets.

It is still barter, of a sort, but it is barter for a standardized commodity.

Rather than weigh gold & test its purity with every transaction, making it into coins centralizes that process and makes the system a lot easier to use (more efficient).

That was the first "money."

Of course, for gold and silver coins to be standardized in weight and purity, a trustworthy authority needs to be entrusted with the process of making the coins. Typically, that is a government mint.

The benefit of that system is a big efficiency improvement over simply bartering silver and gold. But the problem with that system is that an awful lot of valuable industrial metals are still required. The benefit (improved efficiency over straight barter) exceeds the cost (using a lot of valuable metal), but the cost is still substantial.

The next stage in efficiency improvement was the substitution of paper IOUs for actual gold and silver. (Are you old enough to remember Silver Certificates?) Those IOUs are essentially the earliest form of paper money.

The advantage of using paper money instead of actual gold dust/bullion or even gold coin is that it is a lot easier, especially for large-value transactions. Even at $1100 per oz, enough gold to buy something large, like a factory, is more than a little cumbersome. By putting the gold and sliver in a government vault, and just trading certificates which are redeemable for the gold and silver, a lot of trouble can be saved (i.e., it's more efficient).

The gold and sliver are said to "back" the paper.

Once people get used to trading paper instead of actual gold, the gold just tends to sit in the government vaults (Fort Knox). Nobody bothers to redeem it, so it really isn't used anymore.

Therein likes both an opportunity (for further efficiency improvement), and a problem (temptation).

The opportunity is to eliminate the inefficiency of wasting all that valuable industrial metal. The problem is the temptation to unwisely issue too many IOUs, with the result that their value declines (inflation), and the efficiency of the economic system suffers.

Remember that the efficiency of an economic system is dependent on having a fairly stable exchange medium. The less stable the value of the exchange medium, the less suitable it is for use as "money." That is as true for paper money (and its electronic equivalents) as it is for commodities like gold and silver.

A wisely-managed monetary system based on fiat currency (that is, paper money not backed by gold and/or silver) can be more efficient than a gold-backed or silver-backed system, because it doesn't waste useful and scarce industrial metals for use as an exchange medium. However, that efficiency advantage can be overwhelmed by the inefficiencies caused by inflation, if the issuing authority is unwise or untrustworthy.

Hence any blanket statement that "gold standard is best" or "fiat currency is best" is incorrect. Rather, the determination of which system is best (most efficient) depends on who is running it.

Not for nothing and all

but if I had my predicting hat on it would say that around 85-95% of the people interacting here have taken at least one college-level Econ course. Most of what you have written was required knowledge before even opening the textbook.

Not trying to be an elitist or a douchebag, but you are coming off as a tad condescending. Just saying...

Take it to Burr

I agree that the run-off may not be a waste of Democratic Party resources if both Marshall and Cunningham spend the time talking about how they will beat Sen. Richard Burr, rather than each other. It is not too soon to make a strong case for sending this do-nothing senator back to NC.

The differences between the two Democrats are not significant, but how each one stacks up against Mr. Burr is significant, indeed.


Charles Malone