What’s Wrong With Stephen Moore?

If asked the question posed above, I could cite the thirteen reasons listed by the 794 economists who oppose Moore’s appointment to the Fed. These include the fact that:

[Moore’s] statements reveal a deep ignorance of economics and an inability to listen to credible experts. He repeats fake and misleading economic statistics, and pushes fallacies about the VAT and trade competitiveness.

Or, I could point out that Moore is nothing more than a Trump sycophant.

But oh, there’s so much more. Like:

Is it possible that Trump could attempt to appoint anyone to the Fed who is less qualified? Oh, wait.

13 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With Stephen Moore?”

  1. First, many thanks to Stuart Levine for his marshaling of and commentaries on documents of current importance.
    Next, and last, because I cannot find a place on this website to comment on RBC itself, I am taking advantage of this section to complain about the subheading, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” Which century do you think this is? Gender-belittling words in the English language go way beyond political correctness — into, say, linguistic correctness. The generic use of masculine terms is not acceptable. The RBC subheading is as belittling as saying “feminettes” when you mean“feminists.” You might consider setting a good example here rather than asserting only for males the right to have an opinion.

    1. What alternative do you propose? Using “their” to refer to a singular noun is barbaric, despite its increasing popularity. “His or her” is better, but it is still sexist, because “his” comes first. One could rotate it with “her or his,” or switch entirely to “her or his” to remedy past sexism, but that phrase draws attention to itself, and good writing does not do that. When one is writing about what one is or is not entitled to, one should not distract the reader by inserting an implicit statement to the effect of “I believe in using non-sexist language.” Another alternative might be “All people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.” That solves the sexism problem without using “their” to refer to a singular noun, but it sounds a bit off.

      1. I omitted the option of using just “her” instead of “his,” but that would raise the same problem as using “her or his.” Of course, eventually, we would get used to these changes, so that they would not distract the reader.

      2. “All persons” might be better, since “people” is a collective noun. Another possibility might be “You are entitled…”, but I think “persons” is still a better choice.

      3. To my ear, singular “they/their/them” is now received and acceptable usage when the antecedent is a non-gendered singular noun like “the surgeon”, and a fortiori a non-gendered pronoun like “everyone” or “nobody”. You can even argue that “everyone” is any case a plural.

        Where I jib is when the antecedent is a proper name, say “Leslie” to pick one that isn’t obviously gendered, and is used to show notional respect to the small possibility that the subject is transgendered. Further, the campaign by a fraction of the non-binary minority of the minority of transgendered people to assert control over the pronouns 1.5 billion others use to refer to the category is too hopelessly quixotic to deserve support. But then, I’m an old fogey of 72 and the young will take the language where they want to go, not I.

      4. I have some credentials in this area (available upon request), so I thought I’d add a few thoughts to the discussion.
        First, “they/them/their” is gaining acceptability with astonishing rapidity as the gender-neutral/gender-unspecified singular pronoun, so “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts” is either standard grammar for blog subheadings or within a few inches thereof.
        Of course, as a practical consideration, if the subheading is changed in that way, there’s a good likelihood of getting a lot of drive-by comments complaining about it. (Solution: an automatic reply: “Thank you for your post. We’ve had that discussion. Here’s the link.”)
        Second, as Mr. Wimberley observes, “everyone” can be plural or can at least serve as antecedent to a plural pronoun, although it takes a singular verb. Take a sentence like “Everyone I knew in high school was at the reunion, and I really enjoyed reconnecting with *him.” “Him” doesn’t work here. It has to be “I really enjoyed reconnecting with them.” “Everyone is relieved that he passed the test” is most easily interpreted as referring to a group of people who are relieved that some individual passed the test, whereas “everyone is relieved that they passed the test” is more likely to mean that some people are relieved that they themselves passed the test. It doesn’t take much imagination to generate examples in which “everyone” takes a plural pronoun.
        Third, the sentence in question is a quotation attributed (although, not as far as I know, with certainty) to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, so it can be put in quotes, thus disclaiming responsibility for the details.
        The original attested form seems to be from Bernard Baruch who unhelpfully put it this way: “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”
        Of course, there is always “One has a right to one’s own opinion, but not to one’s own facts,” a phrasing which has about it a certain air of being By Appointment to Her Majesty.

        1. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own grammar. Except that “everyone’s” grammar becomes acceptable grammar if “everyone” is a large number of people. “Their” referring to a singular antecedent grates on me, but usage changes and no one can stop it. The one that really bothers me, but is going to be acceptable soon, if it’s not already, is using a subjective pronoun after a preposition, as in “Between she and I,” and objective pronouns where subjectives belong, as in “Her and me went to movies.”

          Of course, I hate “myself” as a substitute for “me” or “I”, but that ship sailed a long time ago (without myself on it).

          1. I’m not on the “myself” ship either, and I fear that I may be the only person remaining who refuses to use “issue” to mean “problem” or “difficulty.” Also, neither “legendary” nor “iconic” means “famous,” and “epic” does not mean “big” or “important.” I notice that “epic” is being used in book subtitles. The May 9 New York Review of Books has a review of two books: “América: The Epic Story of Spanish North America, 1493-1898,” and “El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America.” (If “epic” were used to mean “epic,” then “Epic Story,” in both subtitles, would be redundant.) Then, the first sentence of the review reads, “In the grand epic of American history, the English were latecomers.” How about, “In American history, the English were latecomers.”

  2. Herman Cain has withdrawn his name from consideration for a Fed seat. So says Donald Trump. The statement can be both a lie (if it was simply Trump’s dropping him) and performatively effective.

  3. CP Snow said “Comment is free, but facts are sacred” a century or so ago.

    See The Guardian.

    And screw Trolls.

  4. Update: It looks as if Moore’s nomination is holed below the waterline too. Not because he’s an unqualified idiot, but because of a record of casually misogynistic public statements. Oh well. More from Kevin Drum.

    1. It’s kind of sad when unprincipled hack is not the worst thing about you. (Though in terms of the Fed, of course, unprincipled hack is a pretty severe bug, even if some lunatic man-toddler thinks it’s a feature.)

Comments are closed.