October 31, 2011
Russ Roberts, Call your Office!
We've gone whizzing past France and are somewhere between the Soviet Union and Orwell's Oceana. President Obama outlawed shortages today! I wish he'd sign a bill making us all smarter and better looking -- that would not require Congress either.
At least 232 shortages have been reported through the end of October, said Erin Fox of the University of Utah, who monitors drug shortages for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
I hate to make light of a serious health issue, but I cannot let the Administration's response pass without ridicule. How do you fix a shortage? [Da daa duh, da da duh duh dunht. Duh da duh da DUN! da da da da daaa...] Umm, Price Controls? Correct, but you did not phrase your answer in the form of a question -- that's going to cost you $14.5 Trillion.
Obama's executive order instructs the FDA to adopt measures to prevent price-gouging and protect consumers.
Seems like it would have been better if he had simply outlawed Cancer...
Word of the Day
Yet the American Federation of Teachers has "fully endorsed" the Occupy protest and is calling for the rehiring of 1,000 laid-off teachers, presumably to include McAllister.
High-Tech Lynching, The Sequel
Alas, too many people have seen this movie. So they already know what to call this.
UPDATE: Erick Erickson's take.
Before getting into the details, let's pay attention to what this means.
October 30, 2011
October 29, 2011
Occupy Wall Street Shrugs
Over at Occupy Boston, a protester complains, "It's turning into us against them. They come in here and they're looking at it as a way of getting a free meal and a place to crash, which is totally fine, but they don't bring anything to the table at all." Another report concludes with a similar sentiment."We have compassion toward everyone. However, we have certain rules and guidelines," said Lauren Digioia, 26, a member of the sanitation committee. "If you're going to come here and get our food, bedding and clothing, have books and medical supplies for no charge, they need to give back," Digioia said. "There's a lot of takers here and they feel entitled."
"Our" food? What did they do to earn it? Who is it who really feels "entitled?"
Then he refrains a tale he dubs The Spaghetti Bolognese Incident.
The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a "counter" revolution yesterday—because they're angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for "professional homeless" people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.
I know ThreeSourcers are skeptical, but...
This isn't, as the category suggests, merely a Colorado issue. The Tim Tebow phenomenon is a national one. For some reason this single player evokes or inspires either hatred or extreme admiration. Most seem to focus on his overt religiosity, and either despise or worship the example he sets. I don't see it that way at all.
I marvel at Tebow's ability to inspire and motivate his teammates. While sports professionals in the coaching, scouting and analysis business focus on his objective qualities they almost completely disregard his unique ability to lead. This causes them to make statements like "Tebow can't be an NFL quarterback." But many people believe that statement is wrong and I, for one, know it is wrong. And it has very little (but not nothing) to do with religion.
My sister emailed me a link to this TED Talk yesterday. The title is 'Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion' and it seems an unlikely place to find a key to success in life, but I did. It's 20 minutes long and you'll do yourself a favor to find that much time in your busy life to slow down, sit down, watch and listen and think. Here is Tebow's big "secret."
"It's one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt, for one moment, the capacity of the people he's leading to realize whatever he's dreaming."
Not only does this attitude make Tebow's teammates perform better, it makes him perform better. It does so in a way that manifests itself on the field of competition much more than on the practice field. And understanding it is so elusive that many deny its existence even after witnessing it with their own, "lying" eyes.
Tebow isn't the only NFL quarterback with this quality. I've seen it in Elway, Montana, Staubach, Griese, Jaworski, Fouts and Bradshaw among others. My dad saw it in Daryle Lamonica. It can be seen today in Brady, Rogers and Brees, and glimpses of it in many of the league's younger QBs. And just as importantly, some players of the position clearly do not have it. The ones I have noticed recently are Romo, Eli Manning and ... Kyle Orton. When a play fails each of them is as likely as not to yell, jesture, shrug or shake his head at one or more of his teammates. This is also inspirational leadership, but in the wrong direction.
I said Tebow's big secret has a little to do with religion and that something is "belief." Religion teaches men to believe.
UPDATE: Dad corrects that it was George Blanda he admired so.
UPDATE 2: Macho Duck challenged my inclusion of Donovan McNabb on the list of demotivational NFL quarterbacks. He's right. I put his name in my list before defining what it was a list of, i.e. finger pointers. An error of Saturday morning haste has been corrected.
Clean and Attractive Hippies
"I am going to leave College w/so much loans, all because eduction is the first thing to be cut. I AM THE 99%"So much loans, so little eduction. Don Surber takes some whacks at the 99.
October 28, 2011
People post a photo of what they would grab were their house on fire.
I always like to say "nothing:" get everything that is alive out and hope for the best for the stuff. But the photos are unusually compelling.
Quote of the Day
On the other hand, Supercommittee members have been soaking up campaign contributions from lobbyists. So it's not a complete failure. -- Glenn Reynolds(He linked to us, only fair to throw a little traffic his way. He's a good kid who might make something of himself as a blogger with a little encouragement...)
October 27, 2011
Solar Panels Don't Work
That's not my headline. It was written by solar industry CEO Ray Burgess.
If you listen to the mostly-Chinese manufacturers, solar panels work great. They can be expected to degrade about 0.5% a year. So that is how we build the economic models to finance, insure and subsidize the larger solar systems.
Truth. On Gub'mint TV!
Hat-tip: Insty via the superbly named Coalition of the Swilling
Giants. Earth. Walking.
I'll live and die a jazz snob. But John Prine songs light me like a match. And what a format: a short blast of text from the author and a YouTube of a performance. Nice.
Loved the description of "Illegal Smile:"
I have to confess, the song was not about smokin' dope. It was more about how, ever since I was a child, I had this view of the world where I can find myself smiling at stuff nobody else was smiling at. But it was such a good anthem for dope smokers that I didn't want to stop every time I played it and make a disclaimer.
Quote of the Day
Which brings us to this week's campaign appearances. The topic was infrastructure. In Las Vegas on Monday, Mr. Obama called for "funding to rebuild our roads and our bridges and our airports." At a Los Angeles fund-raiser on Tuesday, the president was more expansive, saying "Let's get construction workers . . . and let's put them back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our hospitals and our schools." By week's end, Mr. Obama could be promising to rebuild corner gas stations and ugly backyard storage sheds in swing states. -- Evil genius architect Karl Rove
The President's Exciting New Program
As it was unleashed in my hometown, it would be churlish of me to not comment on President Obama's new program to help
But I am a partisan hack and nobody would expect me to give the program an objective review. So, lets go to The Atlantic -- yeah, they'll be fair, they all voted for him. Well, maybe not Fat Cat Big City Banker David Indiviglio.
Of the many long-term problems the U.S. economy faces, student loans are a big one. Education costs are rising very quickly and incomes aren't. As a result, students will have to borrow more and more money to obtain university degrees and will have a tougher time paying their loans. President Obama seeks to respond to this question with an executive order in the next part of his "We Can't Wait" unilateral stimulus effort. While the president's heart may be in the right place, his effort isn't like to have much impact.
[Spoiler alert] Indiviglio says it will be $4 to $8 for most. Hey, I can have a McRib!
Now that I have been fair… The news showed many clips of the President's visit and speech, which I'd expect, and approbation from his supporters which also seems fair.
One student, in a clip that runs twice, said he's happy that the new program will help him "pay off his loans faster." Umm, by reducing your minimum payment. Let me guess, buddy, you did not major in Math or Finance. I hope.
October 26, 2011
TEA Party Anthem
It's a natural fit even though the songwriter, Krista's husband Michael Branch, says he wrote it before the TEA Party ever started.
Its new claim to fame is as the official song of the Herman Cain Presidential Campaign.
I think I've also seen what would make a good "Occupy" Anthem somewhere. If I find that I'll post it too.
UPDATE: Not what I was originally thinking of, but better: The Occupy Anthem
Glad There's Not a $14T Debt or Anything
The title may get advanced to a category. GOP and Dems working out the Big 12 expansion.
Jeeburz. Enumerated powers, anybody?
ThreeSources Fashion News
* "Caleb" turtleneck, $225 at Tory Burch, 797 Madison Ave.
That's $2845 when I add it, although I get a little dizzy and might have made an error. A bargain hunter might make it work with a $350 belt and hope nobody notices. Holy cow, the poor model cannot even afford any food...
Quote of the Day
"Gov. Dan Malloy has declared Thursday 'Diaper Need Awareness Day' as part of a campaign by The Nutmeg State to pressure Washington into providing free diapers to low-income families." Rep. Rosa DeLauro, like Malloy a Connecticut Democrat, is pushing legislation that "would allow Uncle Sam to . . . provide funding for diapers and diaper supplies."
Wrong -- Netflix is indeed doomed
Holman Jenkins, whom I admire greatly, spends a little of Rupert's ink money today declaring that Netflix Isn't Doomed. No, that 70% drop in Market Cap is just a blip, and the offerings that people want are not on the way:
Forget about it. That world isn't coming. The hidden lesson of Netflix's fall from grace is that content markets will remain fragmented. In the future, you'll still need a search engine and a credit card, and you still won't find what you're looking for. In such a world, there's no reason Netflix can't survive and prosper with a streaming proposition that amounts to "all the content that $8 per month will get you."
It pains me to admit my disloyalty in a public forum, but Jenkins is wrong. They might limp along at 30% of market cap, but this soon-to-be-former customer suggests that the business model is broken.
I have scaled down my plans in the face of their price increases. I had 3-DVDs at a time for about $18. They included unlimited streaming. I was like Scrooge McDuck, wallowing in entertainment. Never enough time to watch all the great stuff lying around. The first increase sent me from three at a time to two. No big. The current increase that cheesed everybody caused a drop to one. Now, about the same price as I was paying is buying me much less. Not the price curve I expect in this sector.
Amazon offers a similar unlimited streaming for free with a Prime® membership, which includes free shipping. And that $16 bucks would rent me four movies a month or buy me one. Who is ascendant? Who has purchasing power?
Netflix built a loyal customer base of cheapskates on incredible value. I used to marvel at the great deal. Jenkins is correct that they still offer a good value. But good is down from great and they now face competition both for customers and suppliers. Their monopoly and monopsony powers are disappearing. That is not always surmountable.
Peter Schiff Represents the 1%
Represents them pretty well, actually:
It comes from where?
Somehow, inexplicably, nobody has called to ask that their connection to coal fired power plants NOT be restored.
DENVER -- The October snowstorm is being blamed for numerous power outages.
Boulder officials are treating the fast moving storm as a civil preparedness exercise, in the event that the Utility Municipalization ballot measure passes and city council takes over management of the power company. "The wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine," said Boulder's Mayor.*
* Quote is *ahem* non-attributable.
The presumptive nominee is frightening me again. Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt newsletter [subscribe] leads with "Romney's Bold, Groundbreaking Form of Hesitation," which opens: "Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."
The topic is Gov. Romney's refusal to stand with Gov. Kasich's reforms in Ohio
Terrace Park, Ohio (CNN) -Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped into the middle of the charged battle over organized labor in Ohio on Tuesday, but he avoided weighing in on the contentious legislation that would dramatically limit the collective bargaining rights of public sector unions.
"Oh, come on, Mitt. Come on."
Geraghty links to an excellent Walter Russell Meade piece that lists the political peril of going all in on public-sector union reform. We cannot all be Gov. Scott Walkers and capture a plurality. But:
October 25, 2011
Quote of the Day
"If there was a completely unlimited resource then we may have been able to surmount the technical problems," [U.K.] Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne told the BBC. -- WSJ Ed PageIt seems global warming is really, really dead this time...but nobody has told my Boulder friends.
October 24, 2011
Mean old Republicans!
There has been a complete failure on the part of the Obama administration to address the catastrophic wave of home foreclosures across the country, leaving families in despair and wreaking havoc in countless communities...In order for our economy to expand, an effective policy must be put into place to turn this devastation of housing around. The administration's weak responses have barely touched "the tip of the iceberg". -- Rep. Anna Eshoo
With regards to the president's housing proposal, I'm very concerned that it's more of the same -- Rep.Dennis Cardoza
The lack of urgency being shown by various agencies and the White House is hurting our economic recovery and unnecessarily putting families at risk to lose their home. -- Rep. John Tierney
In my opinion, this is a national economic crisis that has been inadequately addressed for too long, and strong, bipartisan efforts are urgently needed. -- Rep. Elijah Cummings
You smart kids in the back are way ahead of me. Of course, these are all Democrats..
A Cause I Could Support
Talk about burying the lead -- the WSJ Story on "Love under the Tarps" (hey, I can't read Mises all day!) closes with an interesting detail:
The unnamed donor [of the massive prophylactic stash] did not express solidarity with the movement's economic message.
Possibly a Malthusian but possibly well intentioned concerned for the gene pool -- bravo!
Big Time Bill, Big Time!
(I predict only Sugarchuck could possibly get the title allusion).
Our humble little blog starts out the week with a link from The Sage of Knoxville.
It was Sunday night just before midnight and to a post of no consequence -- but jg's comment was good!
Send Money to Herman Cain
JK and jg conspired to provide me with a log-in of my own when I asked jg to loan me his log in for a post I have been composing for most of a year about the administrative burden on business created by government. THIS IS NOT THAT POST!
Now that I have my fancy new log-in I decided to test it out on something more current and shorter. Jg sometimes sends a few dollars in support of various Republican candidates. I don't complain very much and usually vote for said candidates while holding my nose. I have never before actually wanted to send money to a candidate.
I have lamented numerous times on these pages and elsewhere about the lack of candidates that reflect MY values and as there are no mainstream Objectivist candidates, I expect that to continue.
However, comma, Herman Cain finally said something on a very touchy subject that actually represents my values. He said that abortion is NONE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS. On that point I heartily concur and I am willing to make a campaign contribution.
With the help and support of family, friends and a team of medical professionals chosen by ME, I have been through 3 healthy pregnancies and 1 miscarriage. I vehemently assert that the decisions made along the way were NONE of the government's business. Should my team and I have decided along the way there was a reason to consider terminating a pregnancy, government interference could only have made things immeasurably worse. Further the government DOES NOT have the right to hold me hostage for 9 plus months.
The bad news is that the talking heads seem to think that this comment by Herman Cain is political suicide and makes him immediately unelectable. Sigh... There I go tilting at windmills again.
October 23, 2011
Win or lose, nobody walks away from the game in the closing minutes when Tebow is on the field. Nobody.
Occupy Denver yesterday ~1000
Zombie crawl ~12,000
99% of what, exactly?
The Economist called it a "resoundingly silly" caricature of economic liberalism and "a sad little book" that is simplistically dogmatic and displays "cocksure superficiality" in an abusive tone. The review suggested that the book would receive "low marks if presented by a second-year undergraduate to his tutor," and that "the case for freedom ... is ill served" by such a book. It accused von Mises of attacking straw men and having contempt for the facts of human nature, comparing him in that respect to Marxists. Conservative commentator, and former Communist Whittaker Chambers published a similarly negative review in the National Review, stating that Mises's thesis that anti-capitalist sentiment was rooted in "envy" epitomized "know-nothing conservatism" at its "know-nothingest."Huh. I give it five stars.
The other two, I am guessing, were penned in 1956, when "The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality" came out. (BTW Mister Chambers: next year a book is gonna come out that you're reallly reallly not going to like.) With 55 years of hindsight, I suggest Ludwig von Mises's not so sad little book looks pretty fresh and describes Hollywood, the ivory tower, and #occupywallstreet as well as anything released this century.
It is a peculiar book from Mises. The technical, philosophical, economic,. epistemological content one expects is contained in this book -- yet it is wrapped in an accessible candy shell. I suspect Mises purposefully wanted to reach a larger audience, and I will agree with The Economist that is gets rather polemical in spots. But it is a question we still ask. Having the fun of meeting blog friend gd for coffee with a bevy of ThreeSourcers, it came up. My sister has asked. Everybody I know who loves liberty has asked once: "Why the bleedin' heck is liberty such a tough sell?"
It's not that you're fighting Marx and Roseau. You're fighting Steinbeck, Woody Guthrie, Stephen King, and every Disney flick ever made. The guys who meet personal needs, who make your life better are villains. Why for? How come?
If you want to chance disagreeing with one of Britain's best magazines and our nation's foremost opponent of Communism. I recommend this book. I do not agree it is sad, but it is very short, completely non-technical, and amazingly prescient. Mises.org offers an eBook for $5, or a complete text or PDF version is available free.
October 22, 2011
Not Getting It
How much longer do we have to endure government economic estimates based on static analysis of tax rate changes?
In November the mail-in ballot votes will be tallied to decide whether Colorado will lose 7,400 to 11,600 private sector jobs [you know, the ones that pay their own way and don't require a new tax every year to keep them going?] The culprit is Colorado's Proposition 103, a five-year plan to hike three different state taxes on individuals and businesses, conceived and placed on the ballot almost single handedly by Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder) and his personal fortune.
Voters will decide between the projected outcome voiced by one Senator Mary Hodge (D-Brighton) who said "she’s optimistic that state finances will not take a turn for the worse," or that of Barry W. Poulson, Senior Fellow in Fiscal Policy and Professor of Economics (retired), University of Colorado, Boulder and John D. Merrifield, Professor of Economics, University of Texas whose analysis resulted in the job loss estimate in the lede. To understand the magnitude of the job loss you can read the paper or just watch this video from a Jon Caldera press conference that, somehow, I haven't seen reported by Denver's Fox 31.
By the way, there weren't enough dominoes to have one for every job lost. Each domino represents TWO jobs.
Now They've P***ed Off Charlie Daniels!
Gibson Raided, Tea Partiers and Charlie Daniels hardest hit.
Daniels, 74, who plays a Gibson guitar as well as his trademark fiddle, calls the raid a form of harassment that may hurt the company and its workers. Gibson has about 1,200 U.S. employees, including more than 500 at the Nashville factory that was raided.
A Taylor rep displays a disturbing lack of solidarity. Hrmmm, I have a few Taylors, probably no more. On the good side, Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Jim Cooper and Mary Bono Mack -- who says there's no bipartisanship? -- have crafted legislation to protect instrument owners,
Alec Baldwin Making Sense
October 21, 2011
Quote of the Day
We concluded: "The question is not whether Obama can live up to the Nobel Peace Prize, but whether he will be able to live it down." At least on the latter score, he has. He's no peacenik, he's a killing machine. -- James Taranto
Sic semper tyrannis -- welcome to the "Freedom on the March" category, Mister President.
If you can read this without laughing...
New York Magazine: The Organizers vs. the Organized in Zuccotti ParkIf I started excerpting, kids...
She Blinded Me with Junk Science!
Saw this on the Teevee news this morning:
A major study of nearly 360,000 cellphone users in Denmark found no increased risk of brain tumors with long-term use.
Followed on FOX31 Good Morning Colorado by "advocates claim that the ten year study was not long enough to detect slow-developing tumors" and in the NYTimes it is followed by:
Although the data, collected from one of the largest-ever studies of cellphone use, are reassuring, the investigators noted that the design of the study focused on cellphone subscriptions rather than actual use, so it is unlikely to settle the debate about cellphone safety. A small to moderate increase in risk of cancer among heavy users of cellphones for 10 to 15 years or longer still "cannot be ruled out," the investigators wrote.
One of my lefty friends has become so upset over my Karl Popper "back to the caves" quote that I have been abjured from its use on Facebook. But this ain't Facebook and, at the big kids table, we can draw a generalization about junk science advocates.
I suggest cell phones save thousands of lives every year, allowing people to escape dangerous situations and coordinate efforts more quickly in an emergency. I suspect it is magnitudes above "thousands" but I don't think you can argue a thinking person out of thousands.
Against a real, empirical, substantive benefit of thousands of saved lives, the
FACT: A cell phone can get you out of a dangerous situation because you can afford it and the person you're contacting can afford it.
FACT: Thousands of people used to die of botulism and food illnesses from canned goods. Resin liners with BPA ended that. Poof. Pretty much nobody dies of that today.
Vaccines, GMO crops, hydraulic fracturing, incandescent light bulbs, the list goes on. Modernity and prosperity save real lives today in large quantities. How much more, life-saving modernity and prosperity would we have with rational risk expectations?
UPDATE: Unvaccinated behind largest U.S. measles outbreak in years Two hundred fourteen real kids, today. Rep Bachmann, call your office -- Jim Carrey on line one.
Lies. Dammned Lies. And Statistics.
Blog friend The Everyday Econmist is less than enthused about current statistical data on 9-9-9:
I don't know nearly enough about Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan to offer meaningful commentary -- in fact, given the limited information available to the public, I would suggest that many of those commenting on it don't know enough either, but I digress. In any event, the policy has recently been criticized on the grounds that it is regressive and shifts the tax burden away from the rich and more towards, well, everyone else. Some of these criticisms are ultimately meaningless unless we assume that the status quo is optimal.
Whole reading worth thing, well.
Kimberly Strassel has been on maternity leave. I was concerned that her August column had been up as her latest. She's back, fine, and again hitting them out of the park on Fridays.
Just as I begin to warm to the idea of tolerating a Mitt Romney candidacy (there I go again -- communications director!)...just as I start to think it would not be less pleasant than a plate of live eels and kale...Ms. Strassel dares to tell the big-T truth: Romney's Guilty Republican Syndrome
Mr. Romney has generally espoused the opposing view--smaller government, fewer regulations, opportunity--but only timidly. This hobbles his ability to go head to head with the president, to make the moral and philosophical case for that America. How can Mr. Romney oppose Mr. Obama's plans to raise taxes on higher incomes, dividends and capital gains when the Republican himself diminishes the role of the "top 1%"? How can he demonstrate a principled understanding of capital and job creation when latching on to Mr. Obama's own trademark $200,000 income cutoff?
In a word: nooooooooooooooooooooo!
October 20, 2011
Some Risks are Worth Taking
Admitting that getting shot can "ruin your whole day," I would not stop going to the range with women in a low cut tops:
A Bristol police officer was shot by his girlfriend at an indoor shooting range in Piney Flats on Monday, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether the shooting was caused by "hot brass" falling down the woman’s shirt.
People get hurt in bowling alleys, you know.
The President is Smarter Than You Think
A lot of conservative types are piling on the President for expressing solidarity with the
You asked earlier about "Occupy Wall Street" and what I've said is that I understand the frustrations that are being expressed in those protests. In some ways, they're not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party, both on the left and the right. I think people feel separated from their government, that the institutions aren't looking out for them and that the most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership, letting people know that we understand their struggles, we are on their side and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you're supposed to do, is rewarded, and that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don't feel a sense of obligation to their communities and to their companies and to their workers, that those folks aren't rewarded.
Larry Kudlow called it "solidarity." Keith Koffler is offended at the comparison of OWS to TEA. If I may be permitted a small digression, I welcome the comparison. The Tea Party comes out pretty good. I think Tea Partiers should welcome every opportunity to point out the differences -- not say that a comparison is off the table.
But word parsers, mad dogs, and Englishmen: can you point to the offending sentence or clause in the President's remark? We "understand their frustration." We want to create a system which rewards "hard work, responsibility, doing what you're supposed to do." This isn't exactly Karl Marx izzit?
9-9-9: Women, Poor, Hardest Hit?
Readers may have heard reports that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax reform proposal "will raise taxes on 84 percent of Americans." Presidential candidate Rick Santorum even repeated the claim in the Las Vegas debate. In actuality, what the analysis by the "non-partisan" Tax Policy Center (which Cain describes as a well-known left-leaning think tank) concluded was that 84 percent of families earning $10,000 or less annually will see a net tax increase, averaging about $110 per month. But this includes the elimination of refundable tax credits - negative taxes, funded by higher earning taxpayers. It assumes that consumption behavior will remain unchanged. (To fully avoid the 9 percent consumption tax individuals need only forego the purchase of new goods, buying used instead.) And it assumes that earnings will not rise and retail prices will not fall in a reduced tax environment. This is just specious.
Furthermore, the entire analysis is biased by its comparison to existing tax burdens. Where is it written that current tax liabilities, with their myriad deductions, ceilings, floors, and politically motivated preferences is fair? What is the moral case for 47 percent of the working public paying no federal taxes in the first place? Their cost of living is too high? Well, reduce the hidden tax burden in the form of corporate taxes and tax compliance costs - two more examples of government being the problem, not the solution.
But talk of fairness may face a tough hearing compared to the rest of the study. The summary table also shows a net tax increase for more than 90 percent of families earning between $10,000 and $50,000, and more than half of families earning up to $200,000 per year. Meanwhile, 70 plus percent of families earning $200,000 or more are shown to benefit from an average tax cut of about $20,000 to $487,000 per year. Unfair or not, this is easy to demagogue in 30-second spots.
UPDATE: Mea Culpa - The complicated summary table also includes a figure for percentage of all households with a tax increase ... 83.8 percent. So the headlines are accurate but so is, I believe, my analysis.
October 19, 2011
Do We Have a Pulse?
I'd say it is a serious testament to the overexposure of GOP debates that a bunch of junkies like us don't even bother commenting on them anymore.
Last night's was pretty grizzly. It made me start to dislike several of the candidates. Maybe in the Lone Star State Gov. Perry comes across "tough" but I found him unlikable. The guy who couldn't land a punch on Romney as a flip-flopper suddenly is tenacious on his lawn help?
Rep. Bachmann "Every house in foreclosure has a WOMAN in it: a MOM a WIFE"
Sen. Santorum can't imagine not subsidizing reproduction.
A long evening.
This makes up for Bad Lip Reading Video's being funnier with GOP targets:
Saint Arthur Sanctifies NINE-NINE-NINE
Okay, put a gun to my head and I'll excerpt. But it's an Art Laffer Editorial in the Wall Street Journal. On 9-9-9. I think whole-thing-readin' is in order. Dr. Laffer's in:
The whole purpose of a flat tax, á la 9-9-9, is to lower marginal tax rates and simplify the tax code. With lower marginal tax rates (and boy will marginal tax rates be lower with the 9-9-9 plan), both the demand for and the supply of labor and capital will increase. Output will soar, as will jobs. Tax revenues will also increase enormously--not because tax rates have increased, but because marginal tax rates have decreased.
Co-hat-tip: Blog friend EE, who includes a free link (good seven days)
October 18, 2011
Warren Buffet's Wife?
Are You Smarter Than a Wall Street Occupier?
One thing I dig about Gov. Perry
In a referendum on the Texas model versus the California/Michigan model, liberty comes out looking good. And a Perry candidacy would push that to the forefront.
Where are the underperforming Lowe's stores located? On election night 2008, 19 out of 20 painted their state the color of the Lowe's logo.
Don't see none in Texas.
THE Herman Cain
Is this for real? Has everybody else seen this?
All Hail Pethokoukis!
Jimi P delivers five reasons why income inequality is a myth -- and Occupy Wall Street is wrong. All well and good, and the first four are solidly backed up by economic research and published papers. But his number five is one I always think of, and one I'd love to ask Paul Krugman someday.
5. Set all the numbers aside for a moment. If you've lived through the past four decades, does it really seem like America is no better off today? It doesn't to Jason Furman, the deputy director of Obama's National Economic Council. Here is Furman back in 2006: "Remember when even upper-middle class families worried about staying on a long distance call for too long? When flying was an expensive luxury? When only a minority of the population had central air conditioning, dishwashers, and color televisions? When no one had DVD players, iPods, or digital cameras? And when most Americans owned a car that broke down frequently, guzzled fuel, spewed foul smelling pollution, and didn't have any of the now virtually standard items like air conditioning or tape/CD players?"
Maybe I'm a reaaaly old guy, but I remember all of that. Also that my father was technically above where I am today in social rank and income, yet our standard of living was much lower.
Property Rights II
They're not only educated -- some are proving themselves educable.
I had my Mac stolen -- that was like $5,500. Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was . . . get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!"
Coundown to "Lord of the Flies" T minus 70:00:00...
(adj.) 1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice.
President Obama is on the campaign trail urging more government spending, in the name of fairness.
He also spoke at the dedication of the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington D.C., where King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, claimed that her father "moved us beyond the dream of racial justice to the action and work of economic justice."
No, I do not believe he did. The man who dreamed of a day when all of us are judged not by the color of our skin, but the content of our character, would have cheapened the ideal of racial fairness by linking it with President Obama's ideal of economic fairness. What he and King's daughter speak of is a sort of economic affirmative-action program. Fairness in government spending must be "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice" just as must be legal treatment by race.
Fairness in taxation must also be "free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice." Like 9-9-9. If any contemporary black man is following the teaching of the Rev. Martin Luther King it is not Barack Obama, but Herman Cain.
UPDATE: (19 OCT) I have amended my construction slightly to comport with my brethren's comments, calling out my uncertainty about Dr. King's ideas about the concept we call "fair" or "fairness" in the realm of economics. And this was my intended focus: Some see fairmess as "everyone pays the same tax" while others will not accede to this position until everyone has the same ability to pay that tax, i.e. equal distribution of wealth.
This leads me to what seems the winning tack in the pro-liberty argument: No man is more or less important, relevant or responsible for our civil prosperity than any other. Taxes must therefore be equal. (This is my ideal of egalitarianism.) But since equality does not, can not and will not exist in the human domains of effort, ability and aspiration, some men will produce more than others. This inequality is to be celebrated, for the alternative is anti-prosperity.
But since the self-made man recognizes the benefit he derives from a more prosperous society he may accede to paying a higher tax than his less able neighbors. A natural mechanism for this is taxation as a non-variable percentage of income, or spending, or both. But this imposition of a greater burden upon oneself is voluntary. It is a grant that may be revoked, in spirit and deed if not in law, when the self-made man sees the fruits of his labor being wasted - such as to line the pockets of looters and grafters and influence peddling politicians, lobbyists and crony capitalists. He may declare that he is Taxed Enough Already and engage in civil rebellion of various sorts.
Herein lies the beauty of the 9-9-9 tax plan. It is a non-variable rate of taxation proportional to prosperity. It taxes income and consumption equally, such that neither is disadvantaged versus the other. It is a progressive tax, since those who earn more and spend more are taxed more. But for the man who knows a beggared neighbor is a liability rather than an asset, an unequal tax burden such as this becomes not only fair, but desirable. For those who are comforted by such things, let us call it a "compromise." But, most importantly of all, it is a tax in which all citizens participate and do so on a par with the greatest and least accomplished amongst us. Tolerance of government waste will diminish, while lines of class and station will be obliterated. America's prosperity will be shared, and it will be bountiful.
Romney - Paul 2012
Don't thank me -- no, go ahead and thank me -- I have saved the nation, the party, and the Republic. While watching Kudlow.
Larry had Senator Rand Paul (HOSS - KY) on last night. I always enjoy listening to Paul filé. While others might be called "Tea Party Darlings" am I wrong to call Rand Paul its intellectual cornerstone? Of course not.
It's frequently a fool's errand to look for a running mate that plugs a candidate's ideological lacuna; better to pick off a state with rich electoral votes or possibly appease a sectional split. But I am going to call this election different. The Tea Party types in the GOP are not ready to "fall in line" with a conventional, establishment candidate like Governor Romney. The PowersThatBe, conversely, are not going to sit still while a national Christine O'Donnell is nominated. Either side staying home would spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.
Gov. Romney has the money, organization, backing, smoothness, smarts, and hair to be elected. Senator Paul has the conviction that the Tea Party craves and a Christieesque ability to articulate its merits. The Tea Party and a good portion of the Ron Paul rEVOLution will have a tough time not supporting this ticket.
At the same time, the out-of-mainstream beliefs of libertarians will be off to the side. Governor Romney can say responsible things about Social Security, Paul can call to schedule its demise. There might be some tension -- but no worse than Kennedy-Johnson!
Quote of the Day
For Democrats, millionaires are the new Gypsies--a minority whom it is perfectly acceptable to persecute because its wealth is ill-gotten, not the product of hard work. -- Shikha Dalmia
October 17, 2011
What the Internet was invented for
Put away the coffee or cover the keyboard -- there are awesome:
Mitt Romney, I will force Spiders and Badgers on the Enemy:
Hat-tip: Jonah Goldberg.
It's Not Faaaaair!
Heh. Hat-tip: Don Surber (Scroll down for "They put $300,000 in a bank while they protest bankers?")
Hat-tip: Professor N. Gregory Mankiw
Headline of the Day
Not Bad for a Sunday
Unloaded some hay, baled and stacked a little more, trimmed hooves for Sampson (2250 lbs. of heavy horse), re-graded the new road down to the arena, caught a few minutes of football here and there and wrapped it all up with a Roger Daltrey concert in Broomfield with dagny.
Roger was friendly and prolific, singing the entire Tommy set before another hour or so of Who favs plus a medley of Johnny Cash hits. The band used two guitarists - Simon Townsend and session man Frank Simes, whom I had never heard of but was quite talented and covered the elder Townsend riffs authentically.
UPDATE: Westword has one of the most thorough reviews I've read, including those from St. Louis, New Jersey and somewhere in Canada. Aside from writing that 'Baba O'Reily' and 'Teenage Wasteland' are distinct and seperate songs, Goldstein's review pretty much agrees with the opinion of these two characters.
October 16, 2011
Nowhere to go but up!
I have talked up Shelfari.com on a couple of occasions.
It has a clunky GUI and fails at its main mission of being the social media site for booklovers. But, as a personal or sharable database of books, it is extremely useful. This eBook reader and condo dweller finds a virtual bookshelf a superb solution.
For my whining, it appears that I am perhaps, not holding up my end of the bargain:
October 15, 2011
Friend of JG's?
Friend of us all, perhaps: http://the53.tumblr.com/post/11440770797/keep-your-freebies
Heckuva Pastime for a Republican
I have a new friend.
I emailed Charles to offer a little help with hay and mentioned that I could help with web programming. It looks like I am
The Administration's Friday afternoon bad news dump this week had a toothsome tidbit. The CLASS Act is unsustainable:
But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.
After months of insisting that it could be fixed...admitted she didn't see how. Now, that's a quote for our times.
Also of interest is that this little piece of subterfuge was part of the claim that ObamaCare® would lower the deficit.
The demise of CLASS immediately touched off speculation about its impact on the federal budget. Although no premiums are likely to be collected, the program still counts as reducing the federal deficit by about $80 billion over the next ten years. That's because of a rule that would have required workers to pay in for at least five years before they could collect any benefits.
The AARP, unsurprisingly, is displeased. We were well on the way to long-term nursing home and home care as a federal entitlement.
UPDATE: The WSJ Ed Page is on it.
October 14, 2011
Someone put the snack in the refrigerator!
Taranto links to a NYTimes piece on the great chow available for the
Following the link, I noted that food for the gallant 99% just shows up:
Tom Hintze, 24, was volunteering in Zuccotti Park last week. "Just now there was a big UPS delivery," he said. "We don’t know where it comes from. It just appears, and we eat it."
It put me in mind of my favorite part of one of my favorite recent books: David Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture." He tells of a time that his daughter had befriended a young heiress her age, and she was visiting:
The two were discussing their various bedtimes. And the heiress said that every evening, at ten o'clock, she went to the small refrigerator in her room, and took out her usual snack: fresh berries and organic yogurt dripped with honey.
Mamet comes back a couple times and says "Who puts the snack in the refrigerator? Someone does."
Perhaps the best part is the credulity of the young lady who has never thought of this question before. Who puts the snack in the refrigerator?
Headline of the Day
Well, we'll call it a nominee for Headline of the Day unless you guys have a better one:
I thought that everybody who liked THE Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan coincidentally happened to have ThreeSources logins.
But now I see Art Laffer is on board. I cannot embed or link directly, but if you follow the link to the NRO Site, look for "Former Reagan Economist: '9-9-9 Is A Wonderful Plan' 3:25"
UPDATE: James Pethokoukis is generally favorable.
Quote of the Day
If a more conservative third party could rise, destroy the GOP, and still win elections, I'd be just fine with that. Or, if the Democratic party decided to become a thoroughly libertarian party, I'd be perfectly fine picking and choosing sides on an issue-by-issue basis between the two major parties. Also, maintaining the same level of plausibility, I would be totally psyched if Frodo had simply flown the Millennium Falcon to Mordor, saving all that time. Or we could use the proceeds from Meghan McCain's invention of an all-in-one cold-fusion, perpetual-motion, and dashboard-mounted smoothie blender to simply buy a slice of America from the federal government and create our limited-government nation-state. -- Jonah Goldberg
Job Creators Alliance
My first impression of it was a "Creators Union." A collection of free-market capitalism's best informed businessmen and women speaking out against government interference with the American dream. I heard founder Bernie Marcus talk about it during a teleconference interview with Rusty Humphries of theteaparty.net yesterday. He espoused views of competition and creation that would make Ayn Rand proud. And with this effort he's standing up for his values as Rand insisted that businessmen must do, or perish.
JCA acts as a public advocate agressively making public appearances and interviews to evangelize the free market private sector's role in creating wealth, prosperity and jobs. Marcus' recent interview in IBD is a good example.
Are they making a difference? Perhaps I was too sanguine in a comment last October when I said, "Capitalism is becoming 'cool'". The nationwide "Occupy" protests underway might contradict my optimism. But an equally likely verdict is that the "we want our fair share" crowd is playing to an empty theater. Despite media attempts to portray it as "a pretty massive protest movement" that "could well turn out to be the protest of this current era" (- That NBC lead anchor guy with the crooked nose, Brian Williams I believe) there really aren't very many people involved. Compared to the TEA Party demonstrations of 2009 and 2010 the self-proclaimed "ninety nine percent" are a mockery.
President Obama is quick to make villains of anyone who earns "too much" money. Job Creators Alliance is a long overdue voice that counters, "Hey, wait just a minute."
October 13, 2011
Blog Brother jg suggests that I might have included a photo of Eliza Dushku more to build blog readership and less as an important and practical way to advance the storyline.
Ergo, in fairness, THE Governor Mitt Romney:
UPDATE: Smooth as Governor Romney is, Dan Henninger says he's not there yet.
THE Mitt Romney
A surprising consensus seems to be forming amongst the commentariat that big-city eastern RINO Mitt Romney is persuasively pivoting to become TEA Party friendly THE Mitt Romney. Personally I haven't given up on Herman Cain, and I admit I'm a little unsure about TMR when my sister and her husband derided him right after the Bloomberg debate as a "political chameleon who knows what he has to say to get elected."
Philip Klein echoes them saying, Tea Party is Losing the GOP Presidential Primary.
The Tea Party movement was fueled by opposition to the Wall Street bailouts, President Obama's health care reform legislation and out-of-control spending in Washington. Yet the current favorite to win the Republican nomination has rejected the Tea Party line on all of these issues.
Well, his tune seems to be different now than it once was. Call it the Cain Effect. Both men still contend that protecting the currency is a necessary evil but that is the extent of Romney's defense of bailouts. He's also called for repealing Obamacare and slashing spending - a return to private sector implementation of, well, nearly everything. It's probably time for a closer look at that 59-point plan.
Another factor in Romney's favor is that former fellow RINO Lincoln Chafee now says, Romney 'a different person' as he woos GOP base.
"It's the same thing I saw with John McCain, and I saw with George Pataki and with Rudy Giuliani," Chafee told WPRI.com during an interview at his office Wednesday.
Linc Chafee didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left him. Cain effect indeed.
Quote of the Day
Still, OWS' defenders correctly say it represents progressivism's spirit and intellect. Because it embraces spontaneity and deplores elitism, it eschews deliberation and leadership. Hence its agenda, beyond eliminating one of the seven deadly sins (avarice), is opaque. Its meta-theory is, however, clear: Washington is grotesquely corrupt and insufficiently powerful.-- George WillHat-tip: Blog brother hb, via email.
Meanwhile, in Buffy News...
Ms. Eliza Dushku introduces an animated shot of Catwoman, for whom she provides vocal talent.
And, I did post Glori and Darla pictures, I might as well show "Faith:"
October 12, 2011
Quote of the Day
Just look at all those unemployed and heavily-indebted #Occupy protesters. I didn’t notice any Petroleum Engineering graduates among them. -- Glenn Reynolds
Dear Dirty Hippies for Paul:
October 12, 2011
Occupy Wall Street
Dear Dirty Hippies and Ron Paul supporters:
Not all of you, just the supporters of Rep. Ron Paul who have joined forcers with the #occupywallstreet movement. I see "End the Fed" signs during news coverage and I have read about your presence in Reason and CATO.
I fear you have made a mistake in your choice of solidarity. You have found those who share your temperament and emotions, rather than those who share your ideas, philosophy and values. Why does Doctor Paul want to end the Fed? Because he considers it an assault on property rights. He makes an eloquent and substantive case that to devalue the currency is to steal the loss in value to currency holders. I don't agree with every facet, but it is a serious argument and well worthy of discussion.
Hans Hermann-Hoppe says of Ludwig von Mises: "Mises condensed the definition of liberalism into a single term: private property" and I surmise that Paul considers this both a foundation of our liberty and cornerstone of his philosophy.
Your newfound friends at the protests share your distrust of government, bailouts, too-big-too-fail banks, and Corporatism in general. But they do not share your belief in property rights. Quite the contrary, their demands seem to center on loan forgiveness. Ordinary Americans borrowed money in a legal market with all protections of contract law for housing or education, and have now decided that the lenders have zero right to the contracted repayment.
This turns Ron Paul's beliefs on their head. He worries about 2 or 3% annual theft of the value to a saver's cash holdings -- your fellow travelers advocate a 100% immediate theft of the property of legitimate debt and bond holders. They are not your friends.
Leave them. Go home. Take a shower.
Should've had the ThreeSources GOP Debate
We have as many viewers. Hell, we could have lined them up in front of the fireplace at le condo d'amour and peppered them with questions, cutting to Keith and AlexC on YouTube. Woulda been great.
As brother jg and I see both seem to be passing along others' tweets, I am guessing I was not the only one to miss last night's debate. All my tweeps seem convinced that he has the skills to take on President Obama.
I've no good reason to abandon @THEHermanCain and suspect it will boil down to a Romney and a not Romney. As long as THE Herman Cain is in it, put me down for "not Romney." In the end, I'll fall into line. I suppose.
Quote of the Day
Free societies have always been societies in which the belief in individual responsibility has been strong. They have allowed individuals to act on their knowledge and beliefs and have treated the results achieved as due to them. The aim was to make it worth while for people to act rationally and reasonably and to persuade them that what they would achieve depended chiefly on them. This last belief is undoubtedly not entirely correct, but it certainly had a wonderful effect in developing both initiative and circumspection. -- FA HayekHat-tip -- well, completely lifted from -- Don Boudreaux, Cafe Hayek
Headline of the Day
October 11, 2011
Headline of the Day
"Stoner arrested for alleged possession of marijuana"
Save you the click:
Daniel Stoner, 26, was arrested early Friday for possession of cocaine and marijuana.
Today is the second to last day that can be shown in the mmddyy format as a binary number. November 11 or 111111 or 63 will be the last until Jan 1, 2101, and the two digit year seems unlikely to be popular, even if global warming has not killed everybody.
UPDATE: Extra double awesome, they put up mine.
"When do we want it? Now!"
The leftist media copes with the TEA Party by finding the handful of whacked out nutjobs in their ranks and making examples of them. But with the Occupy protesters [could anyone have thought of a more appropriate name than they've given themselves?] one wonders if any of them are NOT whacked out nutjobs.
Weekly Standard's Matt Lebash gives a hilarious eyewitness report from Wall Street.
They seem to know they’re a spectacle, since they stand in front of a cardboard sign that reads “Pictures for change or a dollar.” Meaning the passing fanny-packing tourist hordes or smirking financial sector barbarians can get their snaps taken with Spooky and Newport as if they were mascots at Disney’s new Protester World Experience.
And more truth than humor...
Many Wall Streeters inarguably were ethically challenged plunderers, doing their fair share to help turn the American Dream into a waking nightmare (along with profligate government spenders, promiscuous lending institutions, and gluttonous consumers who were all too happy to buy high six- and seven-figure homes on five-figure salaries, slopping at the trough of easy credit and no-doc loans). But in the Great Rewrite that has followed the Great Recession, it has now become fashionable to blame Wall Street for everything from your dog getting hit by a car to your wife getting cellulite on her thighs.
There's more hippie-loathing goodness at the link if you haven't had your fill. Like "What do we want? (We're not gonna tell!)"
Greenwald is Right
Stopped clocked, twice a day, Glenn Greenwald...let's say every once in a while.
But he is correct that the Democrats will find it difficult to co-opt #OccupyWallStreet.
Given these facts, does the Center for American Progress really believe that the protest movement named OccupyWallStreet was begun -- and that people are being arrested and pepper-sprayed and ready to endure harsh winters -- in order to devote themselves to ensuring that these people remain in power? Does CAP and the DCCC really believe that most of the protesters are motivated -- or can be motivated -- to turn themselves into a get-out-the-vote machine for Obama’s re-election and the empowerment of Chuck Schumer and the Democratic Party?
Tweet of the Day
Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty
Stolen from @DrewMTips, but I'll add an original thought: Ev'ybody says they will clear out when the weather turns cold. I would think that might keep the stench down a little.
October 10, 2011
I had my moment of open mindedness about the #OccupyWallStreet
Now, I am back to grumpy old straight uptight white guy mode:
But as the protest ground on for a 23rd day, it was evident that there were challenges.
Reminds me so much of the Party rallies I attended last year. I'm over-freakin-whelmed with nostalgia.
Quote of the Day
In short, every single need, want or desire of their lives has been supplied every step of the way by Big Corporations. Were it not for Big corporations they would have had to have heard about the protest from smoke signals from fires lit by flints and burning wood cut with stone axes. They would be dressed in animal skins and would have walked barefooted on dirt paths to get to NYC. They would be doing their business behind trees and wiping with their bare hands. At night they‘d be snuggled up under a homespun blanket made from the fleece of their own sheep. -- Rick Parker, commenting on the picture below
Happy Columbus Day!
I'm going to blog extra because I know everybody has the day off today for Columbus Day.
It is always fun to watch somebody step into a public political discussion when they really do not expect it. A slightly grouchy vendor I patronize and enjoy on Facebook hit return before he had completely thought it through:
Put basically, JustStrings.com can't operate when the USPS isn't open and I have today off because of Columbus Day. I understand that this is basically a Catholic holiday but can't it be substituted with Mother Teresa Day or some person who deeply cared about people? Columbus enslaved and murdered Caribbean Indians to achieve his goal which was to map a spice route for Europe.
Fifty one comments as I type; mine is #51:
a) Just got my order from you via UPS (thanks!) Maybe the problem is more with government unions than holiday legislation.
You can be wherever you want on Chris, really. I think it is funny that my Dad was taught that he was a great hero and my nieces are all taught he was a genocidal monster. I don't remember what they told me but would a little nuance kill the education system? As far as an American holiday -- no way in hell: recognize somebody who contributed to the American experiment. Fredrick Douglass is next in line if you ask me.
But here this poor small business guy is out of work for a day because the postal union is the only outfit in the nation that gets this lame day off off. That's sad. I was telling the absolute truth. I did just get an order. I paid a couple bucks extra to use UPS because it comes all the way to my door. (And you know how many guys die lugging their guitar strings all the way from the mailbox...) No idea it would save a day.
Happy WTF Day
Monday, October 10, 2011, the 3-day weekend observation of that well-known holiday traditionally observed on October 12 every year because of something noteworthy that happened on that day in 1492: Discoverer's Day!
Down With Wall Street!
From mises.org Facebook page, they could not attribute...
eppur si muove
The WSJ Ed Page goes grasping for a present day parallel to this tale
Mr. [Dan] Shechtman, who last week won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is credited with the discovery in 1982 of quasicrystals, patterned but nonrepeating atomic structures that resemble the mosaics found in medieval Islamic art. For observing under an electron microscope what the scientific community held to be a physical impossibility, Mr. Shechtman was accused of "bringing disgrace" on his lab. Linus Pauling, the chemistry (and peace) Nobelist, called the discovery "nonsense" and denounced Mr. Shechtman as a "quasi-scientist." It took two years before a scientific journal would deign to publish his findings..
October 9, 2011
I don't know that Lou Dobbs "does the Lord's work" (Thou shalt not manipulate currency in my Father's Temple!) but the rest of this Ted Nugent screed is awesome:
October 8, 2011
Libertario Delenda Est!
I've been waaay too nice on the lads at Reason lately. Pari passu perhaps with my dark mood on the GOP. But this one brought me back to the fold. Michael Tracey, whose "work has appeared in The Nation, The Guardian, and The Washington Post" has an article defending the
Tracey finds a few Ron Paulites and suggests Sodom and Gomorrah are actually Disneyland.
By and large, the folks I've spoken to have not come off as "woolly-headed" in the slightest. On Wednesday, for instance, I chatted with Jack Zwaan, a self-described "Tea Party Libertarian" and Ron Paul supporter who had flown in from Little Rock, Arkansas, to attend the demonstration. Zwaan wielded a humongous Gadsden flag--yes, the kind of flag commonly seen at Tea Party protests.
Were pithy soundbites my forté, I'd be President already, but let me try one for the occasion:
"They are anti-capitalist! Anti-capitalism is not conducive to liberty!"
UPDATE: In the spirit of fairness, I must link to Robert David Graham's Independent Reporting (Hat-tip CATO). Graham does not endorse the protesters, but he seconds the motion that the media is stereotyping them. After my exasperation with the portrayal of Tea Parties, I should remain open to that.
If I were a reporter, I would then follow this thread: The protest started as a chaotic event put together haphazardly via Twitter and the Internet, with no actual leader. How, then, were they able to organize a garbage detail? The answer is self-organization. Protestors have developed a General Assembly of all the people that gives authority to the "Central Committee," made up from the hard-core protesters who are sleeping in the park night after night. The Central Committee has many subcommittees, like the "Media Team" responsible for recording the proceedings or the "Arts and Culture Committee", responsible for making signs and running the drum circle, and the "Sanitation Committee" team keeping the park clean. They have organized the park into specific areas, dedicated to different tasks.
UPDATE II: But in other fairness, Reason.tv posts this:
UPDATE III: Fairness fatigue setting in...our own LatteSipper sends a link to The Daily Show.
If you can endure one more story about "Facebook Friends...." Two of the most collectivist I know have both changed their profile pics: one to the Apple logo, and one to Steve Jobs. Each has posted clips from his commencement address.
How. Can. This. Be? Our favorite two-lettered-lefty is hosting a thread on the importance of public broadcasting and one on the evils of America's disparity between CEO pay and worker pay. I did suggest that Steverino likely made a touch more than the guy who affixed the shipping labels to the iPods. And I had the temerity to suggest that, contra his stats, said clerk would be happier with a 10% raise than the news that his CEO took a 50% cut.
Sing, little piggy! No...Breathe from your diaphragm!!!
October 7, 2011
Going to Great Lengths...
...to avoid a vote on President Obama's
Philip Klein in The Washington Examiner:
In a stunning turn of events this evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used an arcane legislative maneuver to effectively rewrite Senate rules to make it harder for the minority party to force uncomfortable votes on the majority.
Wait a minute. Hasn't the President been flying all over the country imploring Americans to call their Senators and tell them, "Pass this bill?" Other reports, notably Politico, downplayed this cause. Instead they pushed Reid's story-line that it was necessary to limit dilatory tactics.
Does anyone else get the sense that Senate Democrats are increasingly nervous about the looming election? The sweat on their collective brow is palpable.
Well, what's sort of fascinating about the Occupy Wall Street/Tea Party comparison is how much overlap there is between their complaints. Scrape off the 31 different kinds of Marxist mold growing on the surface of the 99 Percenters, hose off the stench of urine, bong water, and failure, and you'll find a complaint that many Tea Partiers can appreciate: disgust at corporate bailouts, crony capitalism, and economic mismanagement. -- Jonah Golberg G-File (subscribe)
Quote of the Day
At the risk of dragging unbeloved Washington into thoughts on the legacy of Steve Jobs, let it also be noted that President Obama spent the better part of his hour-long news conference yesterday moaning about Washington's "failure" to bring his job-creation bill to life. The bill's details aside, it is hard not to notice the differing results of the Washington model of creating jobs and the Jobs model of creating jobs. Perhaps Washington should think different. -- WSJ Ed Page
I want out of the Tea Party
Although I think I might order one of these cool Gadsden Flag Shirts.
In the early days, the GOP establishment told the Tea Party folk to grow up and understand political exigencies. And the establishment was clearly wrong. They had internalized limitations on expectations that were clearly false.
The Tea Party is blamed for losing Senate Seats in Colorado, Delaware and Nevada. It might be a fair cop, but I watched Sen. Ron Johnson (HOSS - WI) on Kudlow last night and thought that we would be missing him and Senator Lee in Utah and Senator Rubio in Florida and dozens of great Reps in the House. A huge net positive. They changed the debate as Chairman Ryan would say.
So why do I want out? As the tea party educated the establishment, they must accept some schooling in pragmatism.
Faced with an existential threat to liberty, the Boston Tea Party (what do those guys know about tea parties anyhow?) think they might "sit this one out."
But don't expect tea partiers to be happy about it.
The challenger is Professor "nobody got rich on his own" Elizabeth Warren. If it were some washed up SNL Comic or trust fund baby grown to Senate age, I could give up the people's seat with a small sting. This woman is poised to be the intellectual leader of the lefties as it were.
Sorry Senator Brown "disappointed" you. Now lift those signs! I can't heeeeear you!
UPDATE: Hmm, this is a little problematic as well...
October 6, 2011
Robert Bryce offers Five Facts about Climate Change to match his WSJ Editorial. Alert viewers will note a handsome sunburst telecaster in the bookshelf behind him.
Do I get a free sandwich?
Worth 1027 words
The president visits a Texas school and reads them a book about...um...himself.
Whaddya Do for an Encore?
I'm up early this morning, and Ms. McArdle is on fire:
If we add in the Medicare surtaxes which start in 2013, then for a person earning a million dollars a year (we really need a better word for this than "millionaire", which already has a meaning), the marginal tax rate on long-term investment income for this group jumps to 24% in 2013, from 15% now, while the marginal tax rate on earned income will be (assuming the Bush tax cuts expire like they're supposed to) 48.5%. This of course does not include any state income taxes, or property taxes. The tax penalty on earned income seems likely to rise well over 50% for the typical high earner under Democratic plans. Most left-leaning pundits and wonks do not seem to believe that millionaires pay attention to decreasing returns to effort. I confess, I'm a bit more skeptical.
A tip for good service! Again, Megan McArdle is few people's idea of a right-wing nutjob. She's that rare breed of an honest lefty (well, left of center anyway). I'm comforted that she is giving this little respect to this in The Atlantic.
Quote of the Day
Mr. Jobs's contribution to the world is Apple and its products, along with Pixar and his other enterprises, his 338 patented inventions -- his work -- not some Steve Jobs Memorial Foundation for Giving Stuff to Poor People in Exotic Lands and Making Me Feel Good About Myself. Because he already did that: He gave them better computers, better telephones, better music players, etc. In a lot of cases, he gave them better jobs, too. Did he do it because he was a nice guy, or because he was greedy, or because he was a maniacally single-minded competitor who got up every morning possessed by an unspeakable rage to strangle his rivals? The beauty of capitalism -- the beauty of the iPhone world as opposed to the world of politics -- is that that question does not matter one little bit. -- Kevin WilliamsonRequiescat in pace, Mr. Jobs.
October 5, 2011
MUST WATCH TV!
It's not even Buffy-related! Tonight 8PM Mountain on the Discovery Channel
jk Defends Rep. Bachmann
Against a common enemy of the Washington Post, we must put aside our differences and stand as one. The WaPo afternoon politics mailer (which really is pretty good, and free) shouts:
Oh my, oh dearie me, what has our brunette of the lakes done to disgrace us now? Thinks me. But if you click through (only 30 second clip), I think you could call it a joke or -- at worst -- some hard edged political persiflage.
Paging the WaPo: a sense of humor was found in the parking lot; please claim it at the front desk.
Quote of the Day
In other words, this is just like Obamanomics in general. It provides a short-term gimmicky gain at incredible expense that is designed to do nothing except give politicians a headline and a photo op. It would be cheaper in the long run to buy politicians a camera and get them a blog. -- Ed Morrissey, Obama's green-jobs training program a flop
Otequay of the Ayday
The other day Cornel West showed up at the Occupy Wall Street protest with a sign reading, "If only the war on poverty was a real war, then we would actually be putting money into it." Funny. But the premise is flat-out wrong. In 2009 alone Washington spent $591 billion on means-tested anti-poverty programs. (Others, such as Medicare and Social Security, are not means-tested.) By comparison, 2009 federal appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were $130 billion. Since the War on Poverty began, Americans have shelled out more than $13 trillion to fight it.
A. Barton Hinkle in The Poverty of Nations
All Hail Harsanyi
He's pretty good with an "Occupy Wall Street: a Manifesto."
First, we are imbued with as many inalienable rights as a few thousand college kids and a gaggle of borderline celebrities can concoct, among them a guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment and immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness--even if that debt was acquired taking on a mortgage with a 4.1 percent interest rate and no money down, which, we admit, is a pretty sweet deal in historical context...
...and the rest!
Remember the early Gilligan's Island episodes? The theme song singer got tired of enumerating the island's residents toward the end and dismisses the last two with "...and the rest." It was replaced by the iconic "the professor AND Mary ANN" as America's ginghamed sweetheart rose in fame.
I was singing that at the last GOP Presidential Debate. Bret Behr going down the line and I fully expected him to give up somewhere Huntsman-ish and sing "and the rest!"
Yet we find ourselves, as the WSJ Ed Page laments, with the field we have. Gigot and his minions are more upbeat than I, but we see the same lacunae:
Most notable is the absence of those, like Mr. Christie and Congressman Paul Ryan, who have been most engaged in the fiscal and economic debates of the last three years. The field is weaker for their absence, and Mr. Christie's remarks yesterday about the lack of current Presidential leadership showed why so many people wanted him in the race.
I did a telephone town hall with Governor Romney yesterday. It is a great format and I am always appreciative of candidates (and officeholders, my Representative, Jared Polis, has done several) who put these on. The Governor was himself in all his glory. His mellifluous baritone makes up for not seeing his excellent hair and skin tone.
But, I am going to be hard pressed to swallow hard and support this guy. If I may quote blog friend Sugarchuck without permission, early on in the race he said "I look at Romney and I see 'the enemy.'" The Governor was a "pander bear" on the call. I don't expect him to pick fights with potential supporters, but there is the Evelyn Waugh "up to a point" agreement. No, the Governor is everyone's friend and agrees with everyone's position.
The main question about Mr. Romney is whether his political character matches the country's huge current challenges. The former Bain Capital CEO is above all a technocrat, a man who believes in expertise as the highest political virtue. The details of his RomneyCare program in Massachusetts were misguided enough, but the larger flaw it revealed is Mr. Romney's faith that he can solve any problem, and split any difference, if he can only get the smartest people in the room.
Amen, WSJ folk. Amen.
October 4, 2011
jk was once ahead of his time
In July 24, 2003, your humble correspondent cited Schumpeter and Kodak.
I was reading a story of job layoffs at Kodak when the title of this column came to me. Some nine thousand in the film and film processing division will be let go this month. I feel sad for the people and have a certain empathy as it has been 18 months since I have had a regular paycheck. Politics and Economics both require a certain cold rationality that does not come naturally to me. Liberals will be in business for many years.
Now. all the kids are doing it...
We're the last blog to not write about the #occupyWallStreet protests. And I have not used the "Dirty Hippies" category in some time.
So please accept this link to blog friend Terri's FREE CHALK!
Be Right Back after this Brief Message
Ford isn't running this anymore, but I'll happily give it some play:
Otequay of the Ayday
Perhaps no other sector of American society so demonstrates the failure of government spending and interference. We've destroyed individual initiative, individual innovation and personal achievement, and marginalized anyone willing to point it out. As one of my coaches used to say, "You don't get vast results with half-vast efforts!"
Gov. Christie is not in.
UPDATE: Five reasons b'rer ka was correct.
Couldn't Have Been Their Customer Service...
I don't wish to be too hard on the Borders employees who constructed this screed. It's fair that they're a little grouchy.
But as much as the romance of a bookstore endures, I shall recall a bit of attitude that I don't miss at Amazon.
October 3, 2011
My client will not be bullied out of exercising his First Amendment right to make clear his belief that your client is a spoiled, brainless twit who is cheapening the political discourse in this country. Therefore, henceforth, the "Totally Meghan McCain" series may be found at http://pajamasmedia.com for your client's reading pleasure.
You rilly gotta read the whole thing.
Quote of the Day
I would remind Mr. Stephenson of this bon mot from the early career (Governorship) of Ronald Reagan:You grew up in a different world," the student said. "Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy, computers. ..." Taking advantage of a pause in the student's litany, Reagan said, "You’re right. We didn't have those things when we were young. We invented them."It is that "student" who is today unable to deal with the "big stuff" in life. That "Free Speech Movement" that Mario Savio started sure has made things better for us.-- Insty reader Drew Kelley
Watch and Weep
Coulda been the Senator from Colorado, if only our media market was not so cheap to buy:
Paris of the Midwest
Today's Bing wallpaper image of Cleveland, shown below, made me think of another midwestern city with an ornate history and a rust-belt reputation - Detroit.
That ornate history is tangentially referenced in the "Imported from Detroit" ad campaign for new Chryslers, and more directly so in this one they didn't use. Adorned with original architecture and art works funded by the private wealth of twentieth century industrial prosperity, Detroit was dubbed "the Paris of the Midwest." Today, however, articles are written about the city's death. Investor's Business Daily wrote last March ?Who, or What, Killed Detroit? Union Greed."
Two years ago, the Center for Automotive Research estimated that for every job created by a foreign transplant, 6.1 jobs were lost by the Big Three - many of them in Detroit. No city can take that much economic abuse.
And in November 2008, Patrick J. Buchanan had his own explanation for the Motor City's demise: "What killed Detroit was Washington, the government of the United States, politicians, journalists and muckrakers who have long harbored a deep animus against the manufacturing class that ran the smokestack industries that won World War II."
Obviously both authors are correct. An overburdening regulatory government and big-time labor unions were both responsible for the demise of Detroit's industrial base, and that of the nation. Indeed, they were co-conspirators, for without each other they could scarcely exist.
Remember this the next time you hear President Obama make a speech about how government "needs to create American jobs."
My Facebook friends keep posting the "super brilliant" Elizabeth Warren video, and I still lack the courage to post my favorite parody. But Robert Murphy at the Mises Institute provides a strong and short rebuttal on both practical and philosophical grounds.
Regarding skilled workers, here too the factory owner already pays for it: we call these payments "wages" or "salaries." If someone goes to the University of California at Berkeley and becomes an excellent engineer, who is able to deliver an extra $150,000 in revenues to a factory owner, then with competitive labor markets we'd expect the engineer to earn close to $150,000.
"We don't serve faster-than-light neutrinos in here" said the bartender.
A neutrino walks through the bar.
Hat-tip: my biological brother via email.
October 2, 2011
Quote of the Day
This goes back to the Insta-Daughter's theory of presidential opposites, in which each President is chosen to be the opposite of his predecessor. What's the opposite of a skinny black guy from Hawaii? A fat white guy from New Jersey!
October 1, 2011
Had I Any Courage Whatsoever,
I would put this up on Facebook. But I can't. I will make certain that y'all saw it, and keep it where I can find it when needed. LOL: