The attack on Paul Pelosi

The quality of our lives and that of our community/country depends on how responsibly and wisely we use the considerable freedom we each enjoy. For example, we each have a responsibility to minimize the spread of false information. Sadly, a surprisingly large number of people are eager to jump on and spread information that feeds their existing opinions without taking the time to investigate its authenticity.

“On Saturday, Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, posted a tweet assailing Republicans for spreading ‘hate and deranged conspiracy theories’ that she said had emboldened the man who attacked Ms. Pelosi’s husband, Paul, inside the couple’s home in San Francisco early Friday.” In addition to eagerly spreading lies, too many of us also fan the flames of hate with such statements that are making serious discussion of issues almost impossible.

“In a reply to Mrs. Clinton’s tweet, Mr. [Elon] Musk wrote, ‘There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye’ and then shared a link to an article in the Santa Monica Observer. The article alleges that Mr. Pelosi was drunk and in a fight with a male prostitute.“Mr. Musk’s tweet was later deleted.” “Musk tweets Hillary Clinton Pelosi Husband”

Mr. Musk was a bit quick with his tweet but at least he removed it shortly there after. In fact: “The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and assaulting her husband with a hammer allegedly told police he was on a ‘suicide mission’ and had a target list of state and federal politicians as part of his effort to combat ‘lies’ coming out of Washington.”  “David Depape Pelosi attack” David Wayne DePape, 42, was caught on police cameras breaking into the Pelosi home in San Francisco. “There, on camera, was a man with a hammer, breaking a glass panel and entering the speaker’s home.”   “Capitol police cameras caught break in Pelosi home”

Sadly, too many people are contributing to our damaging atmosphere of distrust by carelessly forwarding obvious lies. But what about those who invented this and other lies to begin with.  Are these irresponsible kids who think it would be fun to pull our legs, too immature to understand the damage they were inflicting? Or are they evil traitors deliberately undermining our public comity and undermining confidence in our institutions?

Author: Warren Coats

I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy.  I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989.  After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017.  Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75.  I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.  In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.”  My recent books are One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina; My Travels in the Former Soviet Union; My Travels to Afghanistan; My Travels to Jerusalem; and My Travels to Baghdad. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.

4 thoughts on “The attack on Paul Pelosi”

  1. Well explained Warren! In Nancy’s husbands case, it would seem to be that a friend of my enemy is also my enemy. Perhaps we need research to understand the linkages between fears of being made irrelevant or less relevant in this world and hatred of those we are told wield the power to decide. The study of civil wars in countries around the world shows the patterns of an emerging civil war in United States as white WASPs fear they are being reduced in the prospects. The Canadian stray that attacked Mr Pelosi seems to be reasonably intelligent but full of hatreds. I do not think false narratives are the whole story. In my opinion, America has to do more work on its economics of distribution. I remember Enoch Powell in the UK and Ian Paisley in North Ireland, Both spouted off every day about issues related to racism / tribalism / religion and made it clear that victims will feel victimized and their efforts at tolerance will be broken. America has reached such a threshold in its economics of distribution of income, wealth and power, which leave too many people feeling victims. The present politics rightly points to valid grievances that need to be urgently addressed. I do think the democrats can do a lot with their policies, but too many politicians do not understand the economics of distribution. I had the benefit of having this drilled into me while attending Cambridge University and I am sure I could show everyone how to avoid civil wars which will come just as surely as the 1917 revolution occurred in Russia. Thresholds have been met and it is time for all parties to create an economics in which large groups do not get left behind.

    1. There are important political and economic issues re level of income and its distribution. But sadly it is very difficult to have that conversation in the current nasty environment. See my blogs on Universal Basic Incomes

  2. A pox on the Dems and the Reps for using the rantings and actions of a very sick man for their own selfish agendas. If something is to be learned, is that some people need a great deal of mental health help. Think of all of those that have been injured by the mentally ill. Ronald Reegan, Gabby Giffords and 18 others, Steve Scalise, and 4 others – and many more. All of these violent people should have been under mental health treatment. Unfortunately, most will only receive treatment after they have been arrested. So what is the next step? How do we, as a society, prevent this from happening again?

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