Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coercion Has Consequences

Unions once helped advance working conditions, but now union rules hurt workers because they stifle growth by making companies less flexible. When I arrived at CBS, I was stunned to discover that I couldn't even watch a video in a tape player without risking a grievance being filed by a union editor, saying I'd encroached on his job. Work ground to a halt while we waited for a union specialist to press the "on" button. ABC and CBS, being private businesses that had to compete, eventually got rid of those rules. But it took years.
Unions eventually hurt union workers because unionized companies atrophy. Non-union Toyota grew, while GM shrank. JetBlue Airlines blossomed, while unionized TWA and Pan Am went out of business. Unions "protect" workers all the way to the unemployment line.

A union does one thing well - it allows a small group of people to prevent competition from other workers.  It provides a small group - those inside the union - a monopoly on labor.  It is nonsensical to think a monopoly backed by the coercive force of the government is going to help more than it hurts.

A money quote: 
Economic historian Robert Higgs joked that it will always be easier to rally politically inclined people behind unrealistic, revolutionary causes than to rally them around subtle economic progress, because no crowd marches behind a banner proclaiming, "Toward a Marginally Improved Society!"

"He's No Carter"

This blog shows a very interesting comparison of the economy from the Carter years and now - and thank goodness, it's not anything like as bad as it was then. 

A really interesting stat is the 15% inflation in conjunction with the very low consumer demand, which I suppose implies it was all about the monetary policy.  

Obama Campaign May Be Fooling Itself

Obama Campaign May Be Fooling Itself

One assumption that has been proved wrong is that the Obama campaign would raise $1 billion and that, as in 2008, far more money would be spent for Democrats than Republicans.
Heilemann reports the campaign managers' alibis. Obama has given donors "shabby treatment," he writes. This of a president who has attended more fundraisers than his four predecessors combined.
As for the Obama-authorized super PAC being $90 million short of its $100 million goal, well, it was late getting started and some money-givers don't like negative ads.

This one made me laugh!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jenkins on Obama - Brilliant

The ads are about pure ressentiment.
The word is French and was once adopted by philosophers as diverse as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Weber. It describes a kind of moral scapegoating of others to explain our disappointments and dissatisfactions.
Wikipedia is especially instructive in the matter: Sartre also used the term "bad faith" for the habit of blaming others for our plight.
Mr. Obama's great political talent has been his knack for granting his admirers permission to think highly of themselves for thinking highly of him. The self-approval of his supporters is the engine of his political rise, albeit married to the kind of hardball that drove his two most formidable rivals out of the 2004 Senate race in divorce-related scandals.

I wonder whether selling the entitlement mentality is a beatable political strategy.  My concerns is numbers.  Are there or aren't there more people who want to be told "you can't be expected to stand on your own two feet, you need help, and I'm just the one to take from others so that you can have what you deserve."   

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge

Outstanding summary! 

Hayek, paraphrased:  If the government is to prevent any group of folks from suffering the vicissitudes of change, it must shut down all of the avenues through which change takes place.  In so doing, it ensures the vicissitudes of decay and decline.

How Patronage Ruined the Democratic Party

How Patronage Ruined the Democratic Party

This article was an outstanding statement of the facts as I see them.

Unfortunately, the public faces of both parties often mask some decidedly anti-republican tendencies. Governed only by the ambitions of politicians and a slender set of rules, parties are not constrained to act only on behalf of all the people, and they regularly do not. While the rhetoric of both sides may speak to the public good, behind the scenes Democrats and Republicans are often eager to make deals with various factions within society—if that is what it takes to win.
We have called this practice clientelism—the exchange of votes for governmental favors between a faction and a party. The great oversight of our Constitution was the framers’ failure to anticipate the inevitability of political parties, and thus to provide for better mechanisms to control their behavior. For if a political party is behaving in an anti-republican manner, and it controls the government, then the government—even with all of its checks and balances—will likewise behave in an anti-republican manner.

Mr. K Stumbles Across the Obvious But Does Not Notice

But here’s the thing: If Wall Streeters are spoiled brats, they are spoiled brats with immense power and wealth at their disposal. And what they’re trying to do with that power and wealth right now is buy themselves not just policies that serve their interests, but immunity from criticism.

Wow, now there's a genius insight.  People with power will try to use it, instead of sitting on the sidelines and hoping things go well for them. 

Hello, Mr. K, welcome to reality.  Glad you finally woke up.

This is the inevitability of power - the human imperative is to struggle to get it, since it represents nothing less than life and death. 

This is why the choice to limit government power is the essense of anything good.  Government power that is insufficiently limited will be struggled for and won by those who Mr. K thinks have bad intentions. 

In Utopia, only good and wise people get control of power, and they do great things with their power like create equality in outcomes without negative unintended consequences.  In our world, we will never be so lucky.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Incompetence: Why Governments Should Be Empowered As Little As Possible

There was another factor, almost as laughable in hindsight. A view had gained ground that central banking was above politics. The goal of monetary policy was simple -- price stability -- and the means purely technocratic. The old Keynesian idea that governments could trade a bit of inflation for a spurt of faster growth stood discredited. If choices like that ever arose, central banking would be political; but such choices don’t arise, so monetary policy should be held above the fray.
That’s why leaders weren’t too worried that Europe’s democratic underpinnings, including its arrangements for fiscal policy, were so much weaker than those of a typical currency- issuing nation-state. Actually, they thought, this was a good thing. The EU’s governance deficit would make the ECB all the more independent. Left alone, it could do its job better and without controversy.
Nice theory.
This crisis has proved that central banking is a branch of politics. Under some extreme circumstances, such as the ones we’re in, monetary policy is really just fiscal policy by other means -- as when a central bank engages in “quantitative easing” and takes government debt onto its books. Strictly speaking, again to underline its independence, the ECB was forbidden to do that, but out of necessity it has lately found ways around the prohibition. Many economists are now calling for more QE.

Negotiating A Nuclear Future

It with great bliss that I report I do not have to sort this one out.  It is with near despair that I realize that the job is left largely to politicians.

This Scientist Is a Mass Murderer... of Mosquitoes

This Scientist Is a Mass Murderer... of Mosquitoes

This reminds me of the fall of the Berlin wall, and other things I didn't think I'd ever live to see.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Harsanyi - Words Have Meanings

Church of the Holy Contraception
We don't need a "State Legislature To Approve a Bill Allowing Employers To Deny Access to iPads" or a "State Legislature To Approve a Bill Allowing Employers To Deny Access to Cupcakes." For the most part, legislators are reacting to intrusions from the federal government. They aren't denying anything to anyone. (By the way, the correct headline should have read: "Missouri Legislature Approves Bill That Doesn't Allow Employees To Force Employers To Give Them Birth Control -- Not To Mention Sterilization Drugs and Abortifacients.")
Perhaps the Catholic Church, which often seems to back economic "fairness" rather than market freedom, will be more sensitive to the intrusions of the state in economic choice. This episode exhibits how economic freedom is intricately tied to all other liberties. When the state creates virtual monopolies through regulatory regimes, it also gets to decide what is moral and necessary and compels everyone to act accordingly.

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge
A smorgasbord of links from the Cafe, click over and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Lies in Politics

Big Lies in Politics
Dr. Sowell shows the laws of unintended consequences as they play out day to day in our political theater.  His article also demonstrates the prescience of De Toqueville's quote:
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy In America

Judicial Activism? What's That?

Covers a lot of ground as regards the SCOTUS' history, very interesting.

Just as with any topic - if you say the wrong thing often enough, many people who are "on your side" will begin to believe it is true.

Political Darwinism

"Now, he has not left this to states' rights," Jillette posited. "As you know, medical marijuana... you can get in California, and the feds are coming in to try to stop this. States' rights don't mean jack sh*t to the Obama administration on anything except gay marriage."

JILLETTE: "What troubles me about this... I think it's beyond hypocrisy. I think it's something to do with class. A lot of people have accused Obama of class warfare, but in the wrong direction. I believe this is Obama chortling with Jimmy Fallon about lower class people. Do we believe, even for a second, that if Obama had been busted for marijuana -- under the laws that he condones -- would his life have been better?

"What does it take for me to get elected?  That's what I'm saying."  How would I know, but that is my best aproximation of what a politician has to think if they wish to survive in "the game."

Devious Politician? No Way!

The notion that his author's bio, which played up high the phony foreign-born status, was simply a typo is about as credible as Obama claiming he never heard his radically anti-American preacher say anything unpatriotic while sitting in his pews for over two decades. Or that he hardly knew his Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist who launched his political career from his living room. And who sat with him on the board of a few radical organizations. And who claims to have actually written the very memoir Obama and his agent began promoting in 1991.
Just who is this man sitting in the people's house? Increasingly, he appears devious and dishonest.

I don't have anything to say about the President specifically, but does anyone think it's possible to be elected by telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?  To win in the political game, you have to be willing to say what is needed to be elected.  Thus the joke made regarding the VP's outbursts:  "The unforgivable sin in Washington DC of accidently saying what you really think."

Monday, May 21, 2012

"They Won't Know The Difference"

The lesson I took from this observation was that we (Krugman, I, and economic commentators in general) had a responsibility to explain not just what economists believe, but why we believe it — to help readers understand that there’s a rigorous underlying logic to the discipline, and that there are good reasons for insisting that people adhere to that logic. Nowadays, when he’s at his most obstreperous, I sometimes suspect Krugman of having drawn a very different lesson — that because nobody understands the real logic of economics, we can get away with saying any damned thing we want to. It’s a frustrating thing to watch, because when he’s good, he’s very very good. But when he is bad he is horrid. I won’t list examples here, but you can find quite a few by browsing my Paul Krugman archive.

The Cafe on Civil Asset Forfeiture

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge
"Civil asset forfeiture, certainly as used today in the United States, is a crime.  A rather vile crime, at that.  Read, for example, George Will’s column in today’s Washington Post.  Or this 2010 study by the Institute for Justice (which Will links to in his column.)  And yet governments practice civil asset forfeiture routinely, mostly in the name of fighting the misnamed “war on drugs.”"

When I was a police officer I saw the results of these types of actions as a win for the good guys.  Now I just regret cops have to be in the middle of this ridiculous drug war, which insures there will always be more incentive to sell than there is to legally find and stop sellers.

WSJ on Bain

But then how to explain the history of Bain Capital? Mr. Romney started the business in 1984. The company has since bought and sold many businesses and executed thousands of financing transactions.
If Bain's standard operating procedure were to hand the next owner of one of its companies a ticking bankruptcy package, how is Bain still finding buyers nearly three decades later? And who would agree to lend money to a company backed by Bain? Wouldn't word have gotten around by, say, 1987 that Bain's portfolio companies weren't creditworthy?

Nuff said about that.

Will: "What Country Is This?"

These kinds of stories are why I give money to  They are there to defend your rights when the government - who should be guaranteeing your rights - is abusing them. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taxifornia follies - Opinion -

Taxifornia follies - Opinion -
Question:  Why isn't this state's absurdity front and center of every presidential discussion?  Isn't clear we're on the same path? 

Answer:  Politics isn't about truth, it's about being willing to say what takes to win, whatever it takes. 
Apologies to the author of "Body Heat".

Monday, May 14, 2012

Seeing the Obvious

What you most likely haven’t heard is that across a wide range of economic, technological, and military indicators, the United States is actually, in the words of political scientist Michael Beckley, “wealthier, more innovative, and more militarily powerful compared to China than it was in 1991.” As Beckley explains in a recent article in International Security, China’s growth in per capita income, value added in high technology, and military spending is impressive primarily because China is starting from such a low base. That the United States has continued to grow across all of these dimensions is making it exceedingly difficult for China to catch up. Beckley thus concludes that China is “rising in place.” That is, while China is improving its economic and military position in absolute terms, it is stagnating relative to America, even in an era of sluggish U.S. growth.

All of the fuss about China - is it deliberately done to confuse and frighten?  To justify the US's defense of Taiwan?  Or are so many folks really that confused?  It's never been a concern to me, because we know centralized control isn't effective in the long term.  Their highly vaunted 100 year plan?  It was a complete waste of time, there's no plan of any significance that can anticipate that amount of change.  The point of our Republic is that it shouldn't have to rely upon the wisdom of politicians in order to succeed.  There's does, which is why they are no threat.

Further, this section highlights our economic schizophrenia:
This doesn’t change the fact that China’s economic rise since the late 1970s has been impressive. Hundreds of millions of Chinese have been lifted from poverty over the last three decades, and the country’s teeming coastal cities have emerged as the workshop of the world.

Right, so we want folks to have liberty, more liberty, so they can be productive and raise themselves out of poverty.  But we don't want folks to have liberty and be more productive because in so doing they increase their "carbon footprint."  So we take money at gunpoint from our citizenry and give it to foreign government as aid.  It does little good, perhaps harms the populace, but we get to call it aid so we can feel good.  Because we are good people and don't want all those poor starving Chinese and Indians to have it so bad.  Well, kind of we do. 

WTF.  Let them have all the liberty they can get and be done with it.

The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House

The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House

An excellent review, although tainted by a statist's perspective.  The Amateur, ouch.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Foolin' Around With The Economy

Obama's Ridiculous To-Do List

Who still believes that the US Government, which is spending well over $16,000 per poor person in this country, can pull a few strings and manipulate an economy?  Really!?!?  It's like a swimmer trying to steer a supertanker.  I suppose they think they are gods ...

To do: "Create Jobs By Investing In Affordable Clean Energy." It is difficult to calculate just how many subsidies and breaks are already "invested" in unproductive clean-energy projects -- many of them supported by Republicans. Whether it be morally fulfilling or good for the environment, an expansion of "the 30 percent tax credit to investments in clean energy manufacturing" could cost jobs, not create them. As one Spanish study found, 2.2 conventional jobs are destroyed for every job created in the alternative energy industry. "Investing" in inefficient energy is no way to economic growth.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Point Of All The Tax The Rich Babble

The rich in Europe and the U.S. are not just going to sit around to be fleeced by corrupt and incompetent governments. Being rich means you and your capital are mobile. There are many nice places on the globe where rich people and their money are well-treated.

Even the politically connected should be able to figure this out - you can't really tax the rich, never mind the fact that if you did, it won't help since the spending vastly exceeds what could be taxed.

Thank You Mr. Veep

Thank goodness for the Veep, because there's just not a more entertaining politician on the planet.  I love it when he takes that deep breath, puts on the somber look, and prepares to say something significant - not that he knows what he's about to say, because he seems to be counting on providence and a long history of being able to pull something out of nowhere.  And then, it's out there, the Veep has given birth to another comment that proably no one can believe he said, perhaps even him!

The vice president said he is “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage, committing the classic Washington gaffe of accidentally speaking the truth. This bit of straight talk made Obama’s position — neither for nor against such unions but in an evolutionary state, not unlike the Galapagos finch — all the more untenable.

And this is what we count on national leaders to do, of course, which is to babble on about who should marry whom, and when, and why it is either good or bad for the nation and for "us".  Heck, what would we be like if we didn't have our Dear Leaders to figure this whole marriage thing out, and then make us all do it like they think we should?!?

Mythical Austerity Is DEAD!

Many on the left, including European socialists, the New York Times and its economist Paul Krugman, are falsely claiming that Europe and even the United States are being saddled with austerity. Their claim is that governments are not spending enough to reduce unemployment. They want higher taxes on the most productive plus bigger government. They suffer from a collective memory loss. Don’t they remember that socialism did not work? Every time the big-government “solution” has been tried for the past two centuries, it has failed, but those on the left seem to be incapable of learning.

It's like saying free markets failed - but you'd have to try them before you would know.  At any rate, have another drink because you are so drunk now one more won't matter.  Or throw more gas on the fire, perhaps just one more dose will magically transform spending into the cure.  Anything but austerity man!!  Any idiot can tell you that spending less than you make is MADNESS!

"Julia" Narrative, Paper Thin

Obama Ditches JFK's Legacy
"The Life of Julia" closes when Julia is 67. She retires and signs up for Social Security. With no fear of running out of money, thanks to Obama, Julia is free to volunteer at a community garden. Under Romney, the infographic warns, Julia's benefits could be cut by 40 percent. Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler found that frame to be "fairly misleading" -- as the Social Security system is on the road to insolvency. Social Security will need to be cut one way or another; the only question is when and by whom.

Monday, May 7, 2012

To Coerce Or Not To Coerce

Our nation does not suffer from a lack of restriction and coercion by our government.  Our nation suffers due to too much restriction and coercion from our government.  This concept just expands government's capacity to coerce and restrict.  It's pretty simple to me - more liberty is better.

Ilya Somin of George Mason University Law School, writing for the Volokh Conspiracy blog, notes that government, unleashed by McGovern’s amendment, could regulate religious practices at most houses of worship, conduct whatever searches it wants, reasonable or not, of corporate entities, and seize corporate-owned property for whatever it deems public uses — without paying compensation. Yes, McGovern’s scythe would mow down the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, as well as the First.

Gold - Nuts?

Krugman sought to hold the middle ground, noting that all he sought, through his recommendation that federal debt rise to 130 percent of gross domestic product, was a return to the kind of America in which his parents lived. The professor treated the congressman’s remarks as unscholarly; in a blog post afterward, Krugman wrote “everything Paul said about growth after World War II was wrong.”

But Krugman too has some sorting through to do. The years when his parents lived were gold years, the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard, a time when the federal government, except in world war, would never had considered raising debt to 130 percent of the economy, as Krugman suggested in the debate.

In short, the gold standard gives at least some restraint to what the Pols can do with our money, or what the Fed can do with our money.

Shlaes' chilling conclusion:
If we are going to speak of consensus, let’s not forget one that is truly universal: Our economic system stands a good chance of breakdown in coming years. The only way to limit damage from such a breakdown is to ready ourselves to choose other models by learning about them now.

Would Anyone Be Surprised?

Few readers will be surprised to learn that decades of incompetence and entrenched corruption in Detroit’s government have not only helped wreck the city; firms linked to former Democratic mayor Kwame Kilpatrick also looted the pension fund.

The latest scandal, which leaves even hardened observers of the abysmal Democratic machine that has run the city into the ground bemused, involves a real estate firm which gave the felonious mayor massages, golf outings, trips in chartered jets and other perks as this enemy of the people went about his hypocritical business of pretending to care about the poor while robbing them blind. The firm, apparently run by a sleazy low class crook named by the reprehensible Kilpatrick to be the Treasurer of what was left of Detroit’s finances, used Detroit pension funds to buy a couple of California strip malls. Title to the properties was never transferred to the pension funds, and they seem to be out $3.1 million.

Nope, no one would be surprised to find out this happened.  But so many still are willing to believe the solution or "our problems" is more government.  As Ozzie would say, "We're running off the rails on the crazy train." 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Steyn: Soft Bigotry

Incidentally, I’ve no use for Robert Mugabe but I did rather enjoy it when he called Tony Blair a “gay gangster” leading “the gay government of the gay United gay Kingdom”.

Steyn is genius - who else could so artfully weave the arcane laced with humor?

Julia - Incompetent, Weak, Needy

Either this is a series of Julias who all exist in simultaneous, yet parallel universes, thus allowing us to view her at different times in her life without, in fact, ripping apart the fabric of the space-time continuum, or Barack Obama is pretty sure his Presidency is going to be safely followed by his wife, his children and several of his clones, because the timeline starts at Julia’s birth year (2008), and goes until her retirement, where, at 67 years old, she is either drafted to work in the “community garden” or fertilize it depending on the long-term survival of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Frame by adorable frame, the we can follow Julia through her life under dear leader, as she navigates her statist world in a creepy, yet compelling fashion that illustrates that Barack Obama basically spent the last four years doing nothing.
A pretty good example of what this funny young author brings - well said sir!

Just Another Politician

There is a problem, however. It makes a mockery of Obama’s pose as the great transcender, uniter, healer of divisions. This is the man who sprang from nowhere with that thrilling 2004 convention speech declaring that there is “not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

That was then. Today, we are just sects with quarrels — to be exploited for political advantage. And Obama is just the man to fulfill Al Gore’s famous mistranslation of our national motto: Out of one, many.

Only a politician could so proudly make a mockery of him or herself.

I know, I know, the GOP is evil so the means of beating them are not as important as the end - they must be defeated in order to prevent domination of the patriarchy, the evangelicals, and the science haters.  Well, that's certainly one way to think about it!  A remarkably self justifying way.

The part that has always baffled me about our President is that he's always been clear about what he was - he's a die hard socialist-statist.  His agenda was devised in the 1930s, long before he was born.  The change her referred to isn't so much change in ideas about what a President could or shouldn't do, as it was the actualization of the progressive dream; a relatively old progressive dream in which the state has control and removes uncertainty and misfortune from the lives of the citizenry - in which, presumably, the ability of those in control to coordinate and organize will reduce or eliminate human pain and suffering. 

This President is not a wolf in sheep's clothing, he is was he always said he was; that so many could ignore that has always been baffling.  He's a politician, he does what politicians do.

From The Cafe - Traditional Obfuscation

Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge
"Economic ignorance and blame-shifting by politicians knows no ideological boundaries"

Just amazing what folks will say.  What is causing the rise is a weak dollar.  Economics just doesn't get any simpler than that.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cabinets Gone Wild

Cabinets Gone Wild

Hanson makes a great point - even if you think the President is a good man, doing the things he thinks are right, you can tell by the company he keeps - he's committed to a vast increase in federal power, and supports significant intrusions into activities that - for me - seem wildly inappropriate for Federal intervention.  The biblical wisdom is:  "Before you seek to remove the splinter in your friend's eye, first remove the log from your own."  Federal incompetence is the trademark of governments.  Let them fix that first - starting with Medicare and Medicaid fraud, for example.

Electric Reality

The Nissan Leaf is the first mass-produced “battery electric vehicle” (BEV). It uses state-of-the-art lithium batteries. Despite this, the Leaf makes no sense at all. It costs more than twice as much ($35,430 vs. $17,250) as a comparable Nissan Versa, but it is much less capable. The Leaf accelerates more slowly than a Versa and has only about 25% of the range.

At $0.11/KWH for electricity and $4.00/gallon for gasoline, you would have to drive the Leaf 164,000 miles to recover its additional purchase cost. Counting interest, the miles to payback is 197,000 miles. Because it is almost impossible to drive a Leaf more than 60 miles a day, the payback with interest would take more than nine years.

However, cost is not the biggest problem with BEVs.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26 a major snowstorm hit Washington D.C. Ten-mile homeward commutes took four hours. If there had been a million electric cars on American roads at the time, every single one of them in the DC area would have ended up stranded on the side of the road, dead. And, before they ran out of power, their drivers would have been forced to turn off the heat and the headlights in a desperate effort to eek out a few more miles of range.

A bad idea indeed.  How did the idea of an electric car become so widely embraced?  Anyone know?  Who made it seem seductive?

Keynesianism = Hubris = The Fatal Conceit

Real business nonresidential fixed investment (RBNRFI) was lower in 1Q2012 than it was in 4Q2011, falling at a 2.1% annual rate, quarter to quarter. This continued a decelerating trend. After growing at 15.7% during 3Q2011, RBNRFI slowed to a 5.2% growth rate in 4Q2011 and then fell at a 2.1% rate last quarter.

Why does this matter? It matters because RBNRFI is what actually drives the economy. Both real GDP (RGDP) and employment growth are a direct function of RBNRFI. The notion that “spending” drives the economy is the Keynesian Superstition.

Plans based upon superstition tend not to work very well. Obama’s $831 billion “stimulus” program of early 2009 failed utterly, as did Bush 43’s $152 billion stimulus program a year earlier. The economists in the grip of the Keynesian Superstition (e.g., Paul Krugman) were left sputtering that the stimulus “just wasn’t big enough”.

Because stimulus works in exactly the same way as trying to raise the level of a swimming pool by drawing a bucket of water out of the deep end and pouring it into the shallow end, no stimulus can ever be big enough. In retrospect, it’s unfortunate that Obama didn’t push through a $2 trillion stimulus. It would have been worth wasting another $1.2 trillion to finally bury this deadly superstition.
I think of the Keynesians as some peacock like bird, strutting around with an undue sense of self significance imagining all the great things they can do with power.  They are defined by pretense.  The pretense that men can act as gods, pulling strings, manipulating the world economy as if it was their backyard creation.  Only man's fatal conceit would allow him/her to believe they possessed the depth of understanding and knowledge necessary to try and manipulate such complexity.  Hubris is not something humans are running short on.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Classic Quote, Drucker

No organization can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings. Peter Drucker


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

SEALs v. The President?

By the time the campaign is really in full bloom, he'll have had time to figure out if this narrative will or won't be positively viewed by the "public", which is to say, the public he cares about impressing.

The story highlights well one of my growing reservations about any President "going to war" on terror or terrorists - every war is eventually decided based on political calculus, the dead men and women just the pawns played by those striving for power.

Denying The Legitimacy of Anthropogenic Climate Science

Svensmark's theory of climate change, you may recall, began by targeting a glaring gap in the global warming theory: the inability to account for cloud-formation and its effect on climate. Svensmark formulated the theory that cosmic rays—fast-moving charged particles from outer space—hit the atmosphere and create nucleation sites for the condensation of water vapor, encouraging cloud formation. Thus, an influx of cosmic rays would create more clouds, which bounce more sunlight back to space and cool the Earth, while fewer cosmic rays create fewer clouds, letting more sunlight in to warm the Earth. A key element of this theory, the effect of cosmic rays in creating aerosols in the atmosphere, was recently demonstrated in an experiment at the CERN particle accelerator.
Up to now, Svensmark's theory has focused on the role of the sun in regulating the influx of cosmic rays. When the sun is more active, it's magnetic field is stronger and blocks more cosmic rays, warming the Earth. When the sun is weaker, it blocks fewer cosmic rays and the Earth cools. But now Svensmark has a new study out looking at the other side of the equation, the number of cosmic rays coming from outside the solar system, and using this factor to explain a vast portion of the Earth's past climate variation.

How I Learned Not to Deny Climate Change

Tracinski hits a home run with this one. 

Classic Quote, Albright

"I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life."

~Madeleine Albright