Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ode to the Kennedy's

An oldie, but a goodie nonetheless, concerning the "creative destruction" of Old Joe's clan, penned by Nick Gillespie.

Corporatism In Action (GE content)

... or as economist, Anne Krueger would characterize it, "rent-seeking":

GE spent more on lobbying in the second quarter of this year than did any other company, according to federal lobbying files. Since 1998, GE has been the king of lobbying expenditures, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, outpacing its runner-up by 40 percent.

The "intersection between GE's interests and the government's actions" is plenty crowded. GE is betting on climate change legislation, high-speed rail funding, electric car subsidies, embryonic stem cell grants, expanded federal health care spending, subsidies for renewable energy, defense contracts and continued financial bailouts.

Whole thing here.

Stupid Legislation of the Day

Carry-on bags... Geez.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Race Baiting Politics

Matt Welch says baiters are shooting blanks. I agree.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Best Paragraph I've Read Today

Via Julian Sanchez:

It's entertaining to watch the same people who spent the Bush years smearing the antiwar movement as "on the other side" suddenly rediscovering the virtues of noisy protest. But at least they're moving in the right direction, no matter how haphazardly or hypocritically. What's depressing is to see the people who piously defended the right to dissent suddenly writing off public protest as a subversive conspiracy.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whole Foods Healthcare Model

CEO John Mackey's plan here.

I've admired Mr. Mackey's philosophy for quite some time.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hollywood for Rand

Some celeb thoughts on Ayn:
Angelina Jolie: "I just think [Ayn Rand] has a very interesting philosophy...You reevaluate your own life and what's important to you."

Christina Ricci: "My favorite book is The Fountainhead...I relate to it because of the idea that you're not a bad person if you don't love everyone."

Vince Vaughn: "The last book I read was the book I've been rereading most of my life—The Fountainhead."

Rob Lowe: "Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is a stupendous achievement and I just adore it."

From here. Brad Pitt's push for Free Trade to help poor African countries is certainly right out of the Rand handbook.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Impending Higher Education Bubble

Amanda Carey writes:

This dilemma is not unlike what we saw in the housing market during the last few years. Someone decided homeownership was a good thing for almost everyone, so the government started pushing people to buy homes, using the tax code and other incentives. The same thing is happening with college. But instead of people getting loans for houses they could never pay off, 18-year-olds are getting excessive loans for college. And just as we saw before the collapse of the housing bubble, the price of going to college in America is skyrocketing.

The reason is simple. The increase in demand (artificial though it may be) means shorter supply, which ultimately means higher prices for everyone. But whether it's in the name of affordable housing or affordable education, the government continues to throw more money into the system, hustling to increase demand. The only difference with education is that instead of bailing out banks to force them to continue making loans, the government is now making the loans itself.

Traditionally, college has been discriminatory in the best possible sense. It was used to weed out those likely to be unsuccessful in the work force. Someone who did not make it through college did not make it to the high paying jobs, period. Furthermore, letting the market control tuition prices (even if they are high) means that many people who probably wouldn't thrive at college—or would do better at a blue-collar job—won't even apply in the first place. This weeding process would eventually decrease demand and in turn, prices would go down, especially at less competitive schools.

Instead, with government help and nudging, more and more people are entering college who wouldn't have made that decision if left to their own devices. We've seen the effects this kind of micro managing has on the housing market. If things don't change now, education will be headed down the same disastrous path and universities will soon become too big to fail.

Yep. Whole piece here.

Our President, the Liar

And now he appears to be conintuning the Bush policies on immigration...

The President's scorecard, to date, here.

The Case Against the Public Option

Monday, August 03, 2009

Weak Sauce


The four drank out of beer mugs. Mr. Obama had a Bud Lite, Sergeant Crowley had Blue Moon, Professor Gates drank Sam Adams Light and Mr. Biden, who does not drink, had a Buckler nonalcoholic beer. (Mr. Biden put a lime slice in his beer. Sergeant Crowley, for his part, kept with Blue Moon tradition and had a slice of orange in his drink.)

What are they? Chicks? (from the NYT).