Comments and observations on social and political trends and events.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conrad Black: Incompetent Obama teeters on the edge

Conrad Black: Incompetent Obama teeters on the edge

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Pro-Life Election of Scott Brown by William R Thomas

The Atlas Society has posted an article on the recent Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts to fill the senate seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. The title of the article has another meaning than you might think at first glance.

Here are some excerpts.

Republican Scott Brown has been elected to fill the U.S. Senate seat for Massachusetts that arch-Liberal Ted Kennedy had filled. Startlingly, Brown ran on a fairly free-market platform, advocating tax cuts and opposing the Federal takeover of health care. He contrasted with his opponent, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, not only on the economic issues, but also in advocating the ardent prosecution of the war on terror. The only policy they shared was a pro-abortion rights stance. But the election was “pro-life” in a deeper moral sense.


[O]n January 19, 2010, the people of the bluest of blue states declared, once again, that America should be the home of opportunity, growth, and wealth—of life, in other words. Let’s hope everyone in Washington heard that loud and clear.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

ClimateGate: The Fix is In

ClimateGate: The Fix is In

This is an enormous case of organized scientific fraud, but it is not just scientific fraud. It is also a criminal act. Suborned by billions of taxpayer dollars devoted to climate research, dozens of prominent scientists have established a criminal racket in which they seek government money-Phil Jones has raked in a total of £13.7 million in grants from the British government-which they then use to falsify data and defraud the taxpayers. It's the most insidious kind of fraud: a fraud in which the culprits are lauded as public heroes. Judging from this cache of e-mails, they even manage to tell themselves that their manipulation of the data is intended to protect a bigger truth and prevent it from being "confused" by inconvenient facts and uncontrolled criticism.

Golden No Longer

George Will's article, Golden No Longer, does a nice job of identifying what ails the country's current economic state by focusing on one state, California.

It took years for liberalism's redistributive itch to create an income tax so steeply progressive that it prompts the flight from the state of wealth-creators: "Between 1990 and 2007," Voegeli writes, "some 3.4 million more Americans moved from California to one of the other 49 states than moved to California from another state."

And the state's income tax -- liberalism codified -- intensifies the effects of business cycles on the state's revenue stream: During booms, the stream surges and stimulates government spending; during contractions, revenues dwindle but the new government spending continues. Voegeli says that if California's spending had grown no faster than population growth and inflation from 1992 to 2006, it would have been $65 billion less in 2006, and per capita government outlays then would have equaled not those of Somalia or Mississippi but of Oregon, which is hardly "a hellish paradigm of Social Darwinism."

It took years for liberalism's mania for micromanaging life with entangling regulations to make California's once creative economy resemble Gulliver immobilized by the Lilliputians' many threads. The state, which between 1990 and 2007 lost 26 percent of its factory jobs and 35 percent of its high-tech manufacturing jobs, ranks behind only New York, another of liberalism's laboratories, in the number of outward-bound moving vans.

It took years for compassionate liberalism to make California's welfare menu contribute to the state becoming an importer of Mexico's poverty. It took years for servile liberalism to turn the state into what Voegeli calls a "unionocracy," run by and for unionized public employees, such as public safety employees who can retire at 50 and receive 90 percent of the final year's pay for life.

By coincidence I just read a chapter in Arthur Laffer's The End of Prosperity: How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy--If We Let It Happen that digs even deeper into California's policy follies. I'll review it here when I'm done reading the book.