Archive from December, 2008
17 Dec
2008
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How to Prolong a Recession

Well, our federal reserve system has cut rates effectively to 0%, making money free for banks to borrow. Markets were up yesterday on that news, perhaps out of reflex, but inevitably down today as the obvious market implications began to sink in.

Our federal government is BANKRUPT and in massive debt; it has no money to spend. Furthermore, it has no, and has never had any, power to stop these economic readjustments. If the structure of an economy does not accurately reflect the wants and needs of it consumers (i.e., everyone), there must be layoffs and there must be bankruptcies and there must be a recession. That is how a free market works – by readjusting to changing realities of human desire and natural occurrences. There is no getting around an economic downturn and no such thing as a “soft landing.” That talk is government propaganda.

It was Keynes who originated this bad idea, and even he realized what balderdash it was:
http://blog.mises.org/archives/009112.asp

According to F.A. Hayek, Keynes idea behind his deficit spending was to reduce real wages by causing inflation, thereby making Britain competitive again. In other words it was a political ruse and had nothing to do with economics.

For the best readable primer on money, visit: http://bastiat.org/en/what_is_money.html

17 Dec
2008
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Joe Baker: Nanny for Hire

Rick, you beat me to it, but I thought I’d throw this in too:

NY gov proposes tax on drinks, downloaded music

From the article, the nanny Joe Baker himself:

“People don’t really realize the amount of calories they’re ingesting through liquids,” said Joe Baker acting deputy secretary for Health and Human Services to the governor. “They say, ‘Oh, it’s just a drink.'”

No Joe, people have no idea that Coca Cola is bad for them. Nobody has heard the exhaustive public debates on what soda does to kids and how it gives them diabetes. Not even the 600 lb. land monster who gulps down 2 liters each day at lunch realizes the number of calories in his Pepsi. They’re all stupid, in addition to being fat. Or maybe they’re fat because they’re stupid, which is it?

I’ve got it: they’re just unenlightened, and that’s why God has given them unelected Joe Baker to impose further taxes to discourage their dark choices. Isn’t that about right, Joe?

17 Dec
2008
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Gitmo Detainees are the Path to Legal Stardom

An interesting op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal on how representing Guantanamo detainees (that’s illegal enemy combatants for the realists among us) has become downright popular among private attorneys and large law firms.

It’s so popular, in fact, that the Justice Department team is grossly outnumbered and outgunned, so to speak, by the defendants’ dream team of attorneys. Consider this:

The imbalance was illustrated by a scene last week at the federal courthouse building in Washington, D.C. There Judge Thomas Hogan was to consider rules governing the habeas corpus petitions of the detainees. That meant half a dozen Justice Department lawyers waiting in a room packed wall-to-wall with high-priced partners — many backed up by legions of associates, outside legal experts, human-rights centers, and concerned law students.

So, the next time someone complains to you about the plight of the detainees, throw on some hip boots and ask them to cry you a river.

17 Dec
2008
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Paterson Takes Up the Nanny Mantle

New York Governor David Paterson has decided that he and his cronies in Albany will be making beverage decisions for New Yorkers, thankyouverymuch. He wants to impose (which in this one-party state means “he will impose”) an 18 percent tax on non-diet soft drinks and beverages that contain less than 70 percent of natural fruit juice.

Paterson thinks he can fill budget gaps and create a slimmer state with one ill-cast stone. He couldn’t be more wrong. Chiseling away at people’s abilities to make decisions about their own lives only makes them less capable of making decisions and…more…dependent…on the state.

Wait a second! I stand corrected. Paterson knows exactly what he is doing. Liberals prefer larger government, which is fueled by more taxes, and they love a complacent population that is totally beholden to that same large government.

Oh, very inspired Guvnor. Bravo.

16 Dec
2008
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Economics for 12 Year Olds

From change.gov

Obama’s Economic Team Discussion

The way this man speaks about economic problems, in sentences designed for 6th graders, tells me something about Obama’s economic team; namely, that he doesn’t have one. He has a pseudo-economic team that takes orders from his political team, directing handouts.

16 Dec
2008
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Top 10 Academia Abuses of 2008

Young America’s Foundation has compiled a list of the top ten academia abuses of 2008. With all the notorious politically correct indoctrination happening on America’s campuses, my only question was how did they narrow it down to ten?

15 Dec
2008
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Emanuel Now Linked to Blago in Public Mind

Intended Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel discussed Obama’s Senate successor with members of Illinois Guv Rod Blagojevich’s team.

This is probably not a big surprise to most of us, Rham and Blago (sounds like a monster movie, doesn’t it?) have been thick as…well, they’ve been friends for some time. Emanuel slipped into the House seat that Blagojevich vacated when he became Governor in 2002.

Nothing is known about whether Emanuel was privy to the Senate seat auction that Blagojevich was planning, but the scandal has now officially breached the inner circle of the Obama team.

For those of you who thought Obama would skate through this totally unscathed, now is a perfect time to reassess your prognostications.

15 Dec
2008
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Bush Communicates Mission, Demonstrates Quick Reflexes

President Bush made what will likely be his last trip as head of state to Iraq and Afghanistan this past weekend. He reassured Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Afghan President Hamid Karzai that America will not abandon our mission to bring freedom to those countries regardless of the looming transition of power here at home.

Will our next president follow through with the mission in a logical fashion? Will he be the same friend Bush has been to American troops and our wartime allies by making a few morale-boosting trips into the war zones? Hard to say. Right now, Iraq and Afghanistan are not at the forefront of peoples’ minds.

Bush’s trip to Iraq to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki probably would have slipped off the front pages altogether were it not for a randy Afghan report who hurled his shoes at Bush and called him a “dog.” Bush ducked the attack and joked about it afterward.

If this guy and others like him were so vocal during Saddam Hussein’s regime, perhaps we never would have needed to invade Iraq in the first place.

12 Dec
2008
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Where the Auto CEOs Went Wrong

With the UAW insisting on everyone taking a wage cut but them, the auto bailout bill sank into oblivion yesterday. Better luck next president.

How is it that GM & Chrysler (Ford only asked for a line of credit, not a multi-billion handout) cannot catch a break? According to Andrew J. Coulson of the Cato Institute, they need to think more like the public education system.

Coulson’s tongue-in-cheek op-ed “What Automakers Could Learn from Public Schools”, is worth a few moments of your time.

Here’s a taste:

Detroit’s first mistake was to wait until it was in dire straits before wooing taxpayers. Education officials began asking for massive public funding in the early 1800s, when enrollment, literacy and median income were already growing rapidly without much government funding.

What the automakers should have asked for was permanent government ownership and control. Consider how well this has worked for public schools. Between 1970 and 2005, real, inflation-adjusted public school revenues more than doubled…. And the schools didn’t have to compete with anyone or show any improvement to get it! According to the National Assessment of Educational progress, 17-year-olds perform no better academically today than they did back in 1970.

If the auto industry had gotten a similarly sweet deal (double the revenue, no improvement required) Chevrolet would still be able to sell 1971 Impalas today, at a whopping $43,479! Due to the rigors of competition, however, they’ve been forced to innovate and keep prices down. They’ve had to improve mileage and mechanicals, refine fit and finish, add airbags and On-Star, and they still can’t get away with charging more than $21,975 for their vastly improved 2008 model.

11 Dec
2008
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Colossal and Egregious Media Failure

Reading news reports these days, you’d think all we have to do to end this bad economy is spend more government money.

From CNN: “For maximum effect, experts say the cash should be doled out quickly. The plan could be approved just days after President-elect Obama takes office. Done right, it could create millions jobs and lubricate the economy. Done wrong, it presents innumerable opportunities for waste and fraud.”

Uncritically from Bloomberg: “Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Dec. 1 that the Fed was considering buying “longer-term Treasury or agency securities” in the market to spur demand.”

From the L.A. Times: “Most Americans Favor Government Intervention in Economy” (Only later do we find out exactly what is meant by “intervention,” and it isn’t TARP or the auto bailout.)

Reading these unremarkable articles would give the reader the impression that a) the government can help the economy recover and b) Americans are not generally opposed to most programs. Either out of laziness, incompetence, or something more sinister, most media sources are towing the line for government while it squanders our money and assumes control of our economy. I’ve yet to have explained to me how spending my money or decreasing the value of my money is the way to prosperity.

If coverage is this bad now, what happens when government starts incorporating nationalized health care into their “recovery” plan?