Friday, July 31, 2009
Jon Stuart Mill - "On Liberty"
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Brillian piece by Victor Davis Hanson...........
American vs. French
The notion of freedom then butts up against equality, as if they are as often antithetical as symbiotic. (NB: note the French Revolutionary sloganeering of "fraternity" and "egalitarianism" versus the American Revolutionary emphasis on "Give me liberty, or give me death", "Don't Tread on Me!", "All men are created equal" [by opportunity rather than by result]. And note Obama's references to the French ideal.)
In response, the state has two choices to preserve its original ideal of equality (and we see elements of this further debate voiced in the Old Oligarch, Aristolte Plato, Hobbes, Hume, etc, as well as in histories of the middle and late Roman Republic).
One, the state and culture at large can be coercive to ensure a equality of result-in the modern liberal world by high redistributive taxes, generous means-tested entitlements, inflationary monetary policies to diminish the power of capital (in the ancient world by forbidding the alienability of land, mandating the maximum size of estates, coining cheap bronze/silver coated money in vast amounts, redistribution of property, cancellation of debt, etc.).
Such efforts at commonality are what we are now witnessing with income take hikes, $1.7 trillion dollar deficits, inflationary federal spending and borrowing, along with huge new entitlements. Its extreme form is the European Union, its extreme, extreme manifestations are the failed -isms and -ologies of the bloody 20th century where authoritarian elites broke the requisite eggs for the omelet of "for the people" and in service to "equality."
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
We had a great time at the Tea Party today. There were well over 5000 people at the capital. Something is big building. Hopefully conservatives can take advantage of this anger with out of control taxing AND spending.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
|"The smallest minority on earth is the individual, and I dare say that in this country today there's no one looking out for the individual, other than me. Nobody is looking out for the individual. In fact, in this country, just as it happened in Soviet Russia, just as it happens in North Korea, as it is happening in Venezuela, and as it happened in Cuba, the individual must be stamped out, the individual must be stomped upon, the individual as a concept must be done away with, and, as such, there go individual rights. You don't have individual rights nearly to the degree that you once did, not when you have been forced by either guilt or stigma to buy a car that you don't really want. When you're buying a car because you think it will get you less criticism, when you buy a car because you think people will think you're wonderful, but not because you want that car, you have sacrificed your individual rights. You have said, "My worth as an individual, my worth as who I am doesn't count anymore. I am going to define my worth by what somebody thinks of me. I'm going to define my worth by how little criticism I will get. I'm going to define my worth by how much I can make people think I care," based on the tug of popular sentiment each and every day. |
When any of you decide to do away with pursuing what you want in your best self-interest, you are sacrificing who you are. You are giving up control of your essence, and you are saying, I would rather be a member of a group that is approved by people so that I don't get criticized or so that I'm thought of as enlightened or so that I'm thought of as advanced. In the process, you are helping to destroy the very foundational building blocks of the greatest country on earth, the country in which you happen to be born and the country in which you happen to live. So giving up your individual identity, giving up who you are, sacrificing your passions and your desires and your own self-interests for the so-called common good, who gets to define the common good? I would define the common good as everybody acting as an individual, born as he or she is, pursuing self-interest. That's the common good. That built cities; that built a great country; that built railroads and engines. It built airplanes. It built everything. People denying who they are did not.
When you deny your individuality, when you give it away for acceptance into a subgroup of people, you are harming the country; you are letting the country down; you are not pulling your weight. You are seeking approval, self-love and acceptance from all of the wrong sources. You're giving up the greatest gift you ever had, and that's who you are. And we have an administration that wants you to willingly and excitedly, eagerly give up who you are for a common good they define, a common good that requires you to deny who you are, your individuality, what makes you different from everybody else, whether you're not as good or whether you're much better at certain things. You will become a number. You will become a robot who can be programmed and inspired and motivated to behave in approved ways, and you will be taught to think you are virtuous when doing so, when all you've done is sold yourself and your country out. You give up your individuality, you sacrifice who you are, you allow that to be taken away for some mythical status as a member of a group, you are giving up your passion to become a moderate, or worse. People without passion never built anything. People without passion never got one thing done. People without passion are drags on achievement and accomplishment. That's what this administration wants you to become. "
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
"Obama is a leveler. He has come to narrow the divide between rich and poor. For him the ultimate social value is fairness. Imposing it upon the American social order is his mission.
Fairness through leveling is the essence of Obamaism. (Asked by Charlie Gibson during a campaign debate about his support for raising capital gains taxes -- even if they caused a net revenue loss to the government -- Obama stuck to the tax hike "for purposes of fairness.") The elements are highly progressive taxation, federalized health care and higher education, and revenue-producing energy controls. But first he must deal with the sideshows. They could sink the economy and poison his public support before he gets to enact his real agenda"
If Obama has his way, the change that is coming is a new America: "fair," leveled and social democratic. Obama didn't get elected to warranty your muffler. He's here to warranty your life."
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Here is the letter:
Op-Ed Contributor - Dear A.I.G., I Quit! - NYTimes.com
HT: Brian Bies
The Europe Syndrome and the Challenge to American Exceptionalism — The American, A Magazine of Ideas
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
"The same politicians who have been talking about a need for "affordable housing" for years are now suddenly alarmed that home prices are falling. How can housing become more affordable unless prices fall?
The political meaning of "affordable housing" is housing that is made more affordable by politicians intervening to create government subsidies, rent control or other gimmicks for which politicians can take credit.
Affordable housing produced by market forces provides no benefit to politicians and has no attraction for them."
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
How then would Adam Smith fix the present mess? Sorry, but it is fixed already. The answer to a decline in the value of speculative assets is to pay less for them. Job done.
We could pump the banks full of our national treasure. But Smith said: “To attempt to increase the wealth of any country, either by introducing or by detaining in it an unnecessary quantity of gold and silver, is as absurd as it would be to attempt to increase the good cheer of private families, by obliging them to keep an unnecessary number of kitchen utensils.” 
We could send in the experts to manage our bail-out. But Smith said: “I have never known much good done by those who affect to trade for the public good.” 
And we could nationalise our economies. But Smith said: “The state cannot be very great of which the sovereign has leisure to carry on the trade of a wine merchant or apothecary”.  Or chairman of General Motors.
Too bad he decided not to run for House Minority Leader, the house could use more of his guidance.
Very good NYT OP-ED here. He makes a good point about our assumption that the world will be able to finance our massive debt increase by buying our US treasury bonds.
"From a global perspective, the picture only looks worse. As we have debated how much money to borrow and spend in hopes of jump-starting our economy, we’ve ignored the worldwide stimulus binge. China, Europe and Japan are all spending hundreds of billions of dollars they don’t have in hopes of speeding up their economies, too. That means the very countries we have relied on to buy our bonds, notably China and Japan, are now putting their own bonds on the global credit markets."
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
"European banks sitting on £16.3 trillion of toxic assets may suffer massive losses, according to a confidential Brussels document. "
"In line with the risk, and the weak performance of some EU economies compared to others, investors are demanding increasingly higher interest to lend to countries such as Italy instead of Germany. Ministers and officials fear that the process could lead to vicious spiral that threatens to tear both the euro and the EU apart."
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"So President Obama says we face catastrophe absent help from Washington? Far from it. Economies once again never fall into recession; instead they are pushed into slowdowns by governments that create wedges between work and reward. In short, the single best tonic for our economy is not tax cuts or tax increases, not housing or unemployment subsidies, not heavy spending or China jawboning, but a far humbler Washington that simply does nothing. Left alone, there’s nothing individuals working free of government oversight can’t achieve. The answer to our economic ills is for Washington to simply leave us alone."
Friday, February 6, 2009
"After Obama's miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell -- and that this president told better than anyone.
I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks."
Monday, February 2, 2009
* FRANCE -- Hundreds of thousands of strikers marched in French cities on Thursday to demand pay rises and job protection. Some protesters clashed with police, but no major violence was reported. -- The one-day strike failed to paralyse the country and support from private sector workers appeared limited. Labour leaders hailed the action, which marked the first time France's eight union federations had joined forces against the government since President Nicolas Sarkozy took office in 2007.
* RUSSIA -- Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Moscow and the far east port of Vladivostok on Saturday in a national day of protests over hardships caused by the financial crisis. On Sunday hundreds of demonstrators in Moscow called for Russia's leaders to resign. -- Street rallies were held in almost every major city over the weekend. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party also drew thousands to rallies in support of government anti-crisis measures. -- About 100 protesters were arrested in Vladivostok last month during protests against hikes in second hand car import duties aimed at protecting jobs in the domestic car industry.
* MADAGASCAR -- More than 100 people were killed in civil unrest in Madagascar last week, according to the U.S. ambassador. Police previously confirmed 44 deaths, with most of those in a store burned during looting when an anti-government protest degenerated into violence. -- The mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina, galvanised popular frustrations to spearhead demonstrations and strikes against President Marc Ravalomanana's government. The violence came amid an oil and minerals exploration boom in Madagascar.
* ICELAND -- Parties forming a new coalition for the crisis-hit island decided on Sunday its new prime minister will be former Social Affairs Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. -- Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned last week after a series of protests, some of which had turned violent. He was the first leader to fall as a direct result of the credit crunch. -- The collapse of the country's fast-expanding banks under a weight of debt forced the country to take a $10 billion IMF-led rescue package and sparked widespread anger.
* DAVOS -- Hundreds of people rallied in Geneva and Davos on Saturday to protest against the World Economic Forum, saying the elite gathered for its annual meeting are not qualified to fix the world's problems. -- In Geneva, where the WEF has its headquarters, police in riot gear fired teargas and water canon to disperse a crowd.
* BRITAIN -- Up to 900 contractors at the Sellafield nuclear plant walked off the job on Monday, joining hundreds of other contract workers who have gone on strike in recent days over the use of foreign labourers as recession bites. -- Thousands of energy workers staged walkouts on Friday, two days after contractors at a refinery owned by France's Total began protests at the award of a construction contract to Italian firm IREM. Unions say it has brought in workers from Italy and Portugal and deprived Britons of work.
* GREECE -- Greek farmers removed roadblocks last week which caused 11 days of travel chaos across the country as they protested against low prices. They kept their blockade on Bulgaria's border and central Greece. -- High youth unemployment was a main driver for rioting in Greece in December, initially sparked by the police shooting of a youth in an Athens neighbourhood. The protests forced a government reshuffle. * GUADELOUPE -- France sent a minister to the Caribbean island on Sunday for talks aimed at ending a 13-day general strike over pay and prices that has paralysed the French territory. -- An alliance of 47 unions and local bodies launched their protest on Jan. 20 over the cost of living. They have drawn up a list of 146 demands including a 200 euro ($257) increase in the minimum salary, a freeze on rents and a cut in taxes and food prices. Island authorities have rejected the demands.
* BULGARIA -- Hundreds of Bulgarians demanded economic and social reforms in the face of a global slowdown in anti-government rallies last month, calling on the Socialist-led government to act or step down. -- Earlier in January, hundreds of protesters clashed with police, smashed windows and damaged cars in Sofia when a rally against corruption and slow reforms in the face of the economic crisis turned into a riot.
* LATVIA -- A 10,000-strong protest in Latvia on Jan. 16 descended into a riot, with protesters trying to storm parliament before going on the rampage. Government steps to cut wages, as part of an austerity plan to win international aid, have angered people.
* LITHUANIA -- Also on Jan. 16, police fired teargas to disperse demonstrators who pelted parliament with stones in protest at government cuts in social spending to offset an economic slowdown. Police said 80 people were detained and 20 injured. -- Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said the violence would not stop an austerity plan launched after a slide in output and revenues.
Really? That is our big problem. Over the last couple generations we have saved too much and not spend enough? We aren't in this mess because we are waaaaay overextended?
"People are not saving; they are building financial bomb shelters," said Mark Stevens, who runs a management consulting firm.... That sounds about right.
"It's really a liberating feeling," she said. "If you want something, you have to have the money for it."
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Really??? Most conservative economists support the Keynesian myth that meant spending can get a country out of a recession/depression? Most conservative economists think tax cuts do less to help an economy than government spending? Really?????
Either conservative economists really do believe in this nonsense, or don't believe in free-market lassie fare economics enough to defend their position. Maybe they deep done think all the lefty professors they had, and all their lefty colleagues just might be right.
So they have taken the position seeming to agree with the stimulus package(the ultimate worthless pork plan ever), or they are not speaking up.
Either all these articles about conservative support for HUGE government spending are flat out wrong, or conservative economists are so spineless that they have just kept their mouth shut.
Shouldn't they be screaming on the top of tall buildings? Shouldn't they be ridiculing their lefty colleagues for supporting an idea that has never worked anywhere on planet earth?
Why doesn't every third world country just spend their way out? It's working quite well for Zimbabwe!
I guess socialism always works. Has always worked. I guess free market capitalism never works. Has never worked.
I guess we got out of the Great Depression because of Roosevelt’s huge government spending and planning.
It's time conservatives stick up or shut up regarding their core beliefs. Either we truly do believe in our principles, or we don't. If we do, more needs to be done. More needs to be said.
If we don't, why exactly are we Conservatives???????