Archive | May, 2012

Quick-Note: Capitalism Vs Socialism

31 May

Consider this as you seek greater intervention in the marketplace/economy by the government.

Winston Churchill observed:

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings;

the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Unions and Central Planning

31 May

John Stossel wrote a good op-ed piece a couple days ago entitled “Improving Life for Workers.  I recommend it.  John is the host of a show called “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network, and has authored  “Give Me a Break” and “Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_john_stossel/improving_life_for_workers  :

 The following are brief excerpts from John’s piece:

 Unions once helped advance working conditions, but now union rules hurt workers because they stifle growth by making companies less flexible. . . .

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.

When I criticize compulsory unions and regulations, it’s not because I want rich employers to get fat off the labor of workers. It’s because I’ve learned that markets are fluid — and the best way for more workers to find good jobs is to leave everyone free to make any contract they wish. . . .

Advocates of “kind” central planning overlook the gradual, piecemeal improvement that markets make. Focused on government’s promise of once-and-for-all solutions (promises that rarely lead to actual solutions), people miss how free markets gradually help humanity solve problems.

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!”

[Bolding is mine]

Let’s Get Out There and Create Some Jobs!

31 May

Obama has once again gone after the Congress to pass some bipartisan legislation to help create jobs in America.  Perhaps he should start by visiting his own partisan Democrat buddies in the Senate, and convincing them to officially consider the 30-or-so economy/spending/jobs/taxation bills that have been sent to them from the House. 

Come to think of it, unless Reid agrees to start doing his job (like considering bills from the House, or like passing a budget), he should be silenced — or relieved of duty.

What do you think?

 

Open-Mindedness — the Domain of the Liberal?

31 May

I read the article about Walter Cronkite in Newsweek last week, and this week I read the response from his son (or grandson?) in the “Letters”.  The point that the “son” made that really caught my attention was this:

“Admitting to a liberal philosophy (which he [Walter] defined as something akin to open-mindedness) . . . .  His liberal radio editorials were evidence of openness, no?”

I know you’re going to say I read too much into this, but I was led to wonder if the reason why liberals seem to look down on conservatives is that liberals feel the liberal viewpoint is the open-minded viewpoint, while conservatives are not open-minded.  Might this explain, for example why those darn Republicans in Congress won’t come around to the “obviously” correct way of thinking with regard to debt ceilings, balanced budgets, oil production, taxation, etc.?  The Reps just aren’t open-minded?

If so, this is certainly a great conceit on the part of Democrats.

To sort of skewer a well-known saying, we conservatives are plenty open-minded, we just haven’t become so open-minded that our brains have fallen out.

Your thoughts?

Are We Starting over with Sub-Prime Loans?

29 May

A very disturbing front page main headline in our local newspaper yesterday.  I don’t remember it exactly, but I think it was:

“Americans still want to own home”

Now, I will admit that I did not buy the paper and read the article.  Nevertheless, just the headline sent a chill down my spine.  Isn’t this where we came in, some 15 years ago, when the government started twisting the arms of lenders to start making sub-prime loans, a form of bullying (um – social engineering) that eventually resulted in property inflation, bad loans, bundling, derivatives, the real estate bubble, and eventually the onset of the Great Recession when the bubble burst?

Do we think that the government is going to start the game all over again?

Gay Marriage Revisited

28 May

Reading a bit of C. S. Lewis this morning, and ran across this in his essay “Priestesses in the Church?” – a clip from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

“I should like Balls infinitely better”, said Caroline Bingley, “if they were carried on in a different manner . . . It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing made the order of the day.” 

 “Much more rational, I dare say,” replied her brother, “but it would not be near so much like a Ball.”

 It immediately occurred to me that this is a part of my objection to gay “marriage”.  It is not so much that I object to any kind of legal coupling of gay people, or perhaps even two heterosexuals of the same sex.  Rather it is the implication of a conversation that goes like this:

 “I should like the institution of Marriage infinitely better”, says person A, “if it were carried on in a different manner.  It would certainly be much more rational if it covered the union of any two people instead of being constrained as between a man and a woman.”

 “Much more rational, I dare say,” comes the reply, “but it would not be near so much like Marriage”.

 I’m sure Miss Bingley’s brother would have had no problem with formally defining a form of entertainment that consisted of conversation instead of dancing.  But, after all, a Ball was a Ball.  By the same token, if same-sex “couples” want to be formally attached to each other, let’s just define the tool to do that, not alter the definition of Marriage that is understood by billions of people throughout the world as between a man and a woman.

Your thoughts?

The Problem Is Not with Student Loans

25 May

This is what happens when our colleges and universities play to government money and contrived rankings.

http://www.city-journal.org/2012/cjc0524cj.html

Basically, unqualified students (in the name of diversity), rigged rankings (by lying about SAT scores, as well as rigging acceptance rates), and higher costs for students and parents (which ALWAYS results from government trying to direct outcomes, but which is assisted by requirements to achieve higher rankings).

Our problem is not that we have to help students afford loans — the real problem is that colleges and universities have no incentive to hold costs and charges down.  And government largesse and programs just exacerbate the problem.

Shameful. 

But ALL institutes of higher learning are forced to play the game, to some extent.  We need to change the mindset in America to make more use of “teaching colleges” than “prestige colleges”.

This might also help the student loan problem – costs are generally lower at “teaching colleges”.