When The State Plays God Someone Lives and Someone Dies
The Fundamental Problem of Economics states that people with infinite demands will attempt to meet those demands with limited resources. This predictably fails. The best we can hope for is what is called a Pareto Optimal solution where you pretty much do the best you can with what you have. Much of the debate between boosters of command economies and free market economies centers on how a society works towards getting more to dole out and a Pareto Optimal distribution of what they have.
The socialists in Venezuela solve this problem by rationing. They ration food. The socialists in America solve this problem by rationing. They ration donated organs available for transplant. This can lead to heart-breaking and intractable dilemmas in which there is no answer that maximizes everybody’s happiness. In just such a dilemma, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius learned just how hard a job it was to be queen.
Read More »
The Improving Science of Anthropogenic Global Warming
A brief history of recent climate science puts this outstanding effort in its proper context. From about 1850 to nearly 2000 our planet appeared to be growing significantly warmer over time. There were fluctuations, but a trend was identified (and some would say artificially amplified) suggesting that our climate was warming at a dangerous rate. We have recently enjoyed a fortuitous leveling in what was previously a significantly alarming increase in the Earth’s Median Daily Temperature. From about 1998 to the present, the Earth’s temperatures have either stabilized or moderately decreased. The current controversial theories regarding human impact on the terrestrial climate failed to explain this departure from forecast. But rather than holding a polka dance to celebrate our likely salvation from climate-induced immolation, proponents of AGW engaged in an odious practice of “Hiding the Decline.” But why hide the decline when you can scientifically account for it instead?
Read More »
The Hidden Tax of the Regulatory State
Many of us in the Tea Party have focused intensely on the cost of big government to the federal budget. Undoubtedly, this cost will be born directly by future taxpayers in the form of more taxes, higher interest payments on debt, and less economic growth. While we must continue hammering home this point, we must also understand that many Americans still fail to connect the | Read More »
After The Gold Rush II – Kentucky Coal and Japanese Stocks
If you have based your hope for prosperity on what Globalization Guru Thomas Friedman referred to as The Electronic Herd, this morning you probably feel like one of the pigs that Christ sent over the cliff when he exorcised “Legion.” For today, at least, there is no hiding from the stupid. The Nikkei 225 crashed and burned yesterday and Business Insider describesjust what traders in American Equities markets woke up to this morning.
Markets around the world are deep in the red. England’s FTSE is down. 1.7%. France’s CAC 40 is down 2.3%. Germany’s DAX is down 2.4%. Spain’s IBEX is down 1.4%. Italy’s FTSE MIB is down 2.5%. In the U.S., the S&P 500 is down 0.8%. This follows sell-offs across Asia. Japan’s Nikkei fell by a stunning 7.3%.
I’m sure the parrots at CNBC Squawk Box are remarkably charming this fine and wonderful morning. And Jim Cramer has probably exploded and totally made a mess all over the set at “Mad Money.” However, you can get the same level of news content and far more entertainment by watching this Alien’s clip linked here. What staggers the mind is that all of this is caused by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dropping hints that he might choose to reduce the rate at which he hands out free money to banking institutions via QE.
Read More »
Restoring The Republic III – Curing The Sickness Known As Healthcare
Don’t get me wrong. I like O-Care about as much as I like getting a prostate exam. The bill is typical of unthinking, boilerplate socialism’s response to the negative externalities that result from market failure. We should therefore trash Obamacare, but let’s just make that the warm-up set. The real heavy lifting required to fix our healthcare system involves addressing the causes of a market failure so catastrophic that something as obviously stupid as Obamacare seemed like a palatable solution.
Karl Denninger explains why poor people often can’t afford health insurance. The care provided is so badly overpriced that health plans are paying out more vastly more than the goods and services provided can possibly be worth. He describes the price mark-up of a common chemotherapy drug below.
Read More »
Iraq’s Descent Back into Civil War Makes the Case for American Energy Independence
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-George Santayana (HT: Wikiquote)
America now faces a typical conundrum that has plagued all of our recent Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower all the way forward to President Barack Obama. We depend upon the Middle East for much of the energy that provides our motive power. As a result of this debilitating dependence upon people who hate us and practice a system of ethics and morals totally alien to our own, we are increasingly compromised and forced into courses of action that do not benefit our national commonweal. If we produce enough of our own energy, while curbing our domestic consumption, we can break this cycle of self-sabotage. If we don’t break the cycle, every US President going forward will wage his own, pointless version of a Punic War in Western Asia. I describe the current state of play below.
Read More »
Hitting The Brakes on Foxx as Transportation Secretary
Last Sunday’s news of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx’s nomination as the next transportation secretary came without much ado. However, for those who live around the Charlotte area and know the history of local public transportation, the pick of Foxx at the very least deserves some consideration. According to the Charlotte Observer (who no doubt was up late Saturday night scrubbing their website): Flanked by Foxx | Read More »
Urban Apartheid In New Haven, CT
The New Haven, CT NAACP has looked at the statistical trends that they feel will drive the future of African-American prosperity in New Haven. What they have seen does not make them happy. In an effort to draw attention to this set of troubling tends; they regrettably entitled their recent report Urban Apartheid. This I find to be historically inaccurate and unjustly polemical in nature. I will lay out my reasons for saying so below.
Read More »
Dishonest Environmental Scientists Have Pretty Much Killed Earth Day
It was a damp, rainy Saturday in the land of Global Warming and vapid, rentier capitalism. My little boy and I went to run in his Montessori School’s Annual Spring Zing 5K fundraiser for the school. When I picked up the swag-bag that included my race shirt and number, I found a green-colored water planet that encouraged us all to save the planet in honor of Earth Day. Then I remembered something: it was the first time all week I had heard jack about the !MANDATORY! and creepily ubiquitous Earth Day.
What has happened to America’s faddishly PC !MANDATORY! celebration? Our occasion for compulsory fun has gone from being like a nationwide company picnic you pretend to enjoy if you can’t squirm away from, to being an embarrassment to those who once lauded its !MANDATORY! civic virtues. Earth Day has collapsed under the irresistible weight of its own brave sierra.*
I personally decided that Earth Day had completed its predictable fridge-nuking operation about two winters ago thanks to George Monbiot. His column “That snow outside is what global warming looks like” did the trick.
Read More »
Robert J. Samuelson Discusses Risk, Reality and America’s Future
Back when I worked as an Operational Tester for Sam’s Army, I was at Ft. Campbell working in my data shed. I took a break to talk to an LTC on my test team. I was talking to him about things he saw over in Iraq.* It stunned the man that Iraqis cared so little about personal safety. They rode around in flatbed trucks with no headgear or seatbelts. They routinely worked in 100 degree + weather with no shirt, no canteens and probably no suntan lotion. He just couldn’t reconcile this with the safety-first risk-averse mentality of the successful Army Staff Officer. These people actually allowed Negative Chance Deviations.**
The soldier I bantered with while my data forms came in from the test range was a great American. He just didn’t realize something that we all seem to be learning now to our demise. Having the resources, time and knowledge to take the risk out of literally everything is a luxury. It is a luxury that we increasingly no longer have. You don’t have to wear shades anymore. The future isn’t bright enough for you to afford that awesome pair of Oakley’s. If Robert J. Samuelson is accurate; we are entering into a new age of risk. He explains below.
Read More »
Does The US Welfare System Benefit Jihadists?
Our government, our media and the increasingly auto-beclowning supporters of our current national Zeitgeist strive manfully athwart ratiocination to rapidly disconnect the dots on The Boston Marathon Terror Bombing. Like the brilliant government bureaucrat who classified the Major Nidal Hasan’s Fort Hood Jihad Spray-Job as workplace violence, they aren’t lying per se. They’re just bull-(radio edit). Like the evil Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men, their operational assumption with respect to the American People is “You can’t handle the truth.”
The truth we supposedly can’t handle, quite simply is this.
Read More »
State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home. In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state. The news raises questions over whether Tsarnaev financed his radicalization on taxpayer money *
A Non-Ethics Problem With The Gang Of 8 Bill: It Won’t Work.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Oh Good. We have Comprehensive Immigration Reform being set before the US Senate. It’s the brainchild of a Gang of 8. Perhaps I can be forgiven for wondering if that means this bill will be twice as odious as the intellectual deep thoughts of Mao Tse Tung’s Gang of Four.
Now I understand that this was catty and mean, but I’m just getting really tired of these comprehensive master plans from the desks of our elected mental midgets. Attempting to do everything at once with regards to a difficult, complex issue leads us to the type of legislation where you have to pass it first to find out what’s in it. That, I fear is what will happen with the latest Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposal.
Read More »
A Comedy Party With Senators Baucus and Rockefeller
Senator Franken from Minnesota may have worked once as a Comedian, but he’s got to brush up his act if he wants to win a comedy slam against Montana Senator Max Baucus or West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller. You see, both of these gentlemen were quite the dashing cocksmen during the lamentable fathering of the Senate version of Obamacare. Now, like the prototypical cad served with a paternity suit, they both want to sing the refrain made famous by the rap-artist Shaggy.*
Senator Jay Rockefeller kicked off Improv Night with the following description of his own legislative handiwork. What? You mean your own piece of legislation was bad, Senator Rockefeller? Yepper, Daddy was a pistol, now Obamacare is a son of a gun.
Read More »
The View From The Border: The Gang of 8 Offer A Failed Plan
So there’s a big push these days to reform immigration laws. Given the importance and sensitivity of this venture, maybe the eight leading lights of the US Senate putting together a grand strategy should invite over the people who actually enforce the border and hear some words of wisdom from those whose boots are on the ground. You would think. But somehow that hasn’t transpired, so the National ICE Council (a union representing about 7,000 border guards and staff) decided to opine at large. Christopher Crane offers their perspective.
Read More »
“The plan of the Gang of Eight appears to be legalization, or amnesty first, and then enforcement. That is a big problem for us,”… “If we don’t take care of the enforcement part of this first, it will never happen. The only thing that will happen will be that 11 million illegal aliens will be legalized, and 10 to 20 years from now the nation will again be facing the influx of another 10-20 million illegal aliens,” he said. “And all the problems and expenses associated with that we will be right back to where we are right now, with a failed immigration system.”
Calculating The ‘Prevailing Wage’ Costs Of A Bad Immigration Compromise
On Friday, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka and U.S. Chamber head Thomas Donahue reached a “compromise” that would allow up to 200,000 immigrant workers (the numbers dependent on the industry) work visas, so long as a government-imposed wage rate is applied.
Aside from the basic problem of the government dictating artificially high wage (and benefit) rates–known as prevailing wages–the problem is that most do not know what constitutes a “prevailing wage rate.”
Read More »