Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's Your Energy IQ?

Some very sobering results from an API survey on how Americans continue to underestimate the amount of oil and natural gas we'll need in years to come. Test your energy IQ here.

HT: Jane Van Ryan

Arnold Kling discusses constraints of health insurance coverage

Arnold Kling is always worth listening to especially when it comes to health care costs.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Best Posts I've Read Today

Harrison Price over at Just Politics hits a home run with his commentary on politically powerful Unions in the state of California and the burgeoning environmental energy movement:

Liberals are fond of talking about “Big Oil” as if it is supposed to mean something. Oil is “big” because the stuff it produces (oil, gas, and diesel) runs the industrialized world. But what about “Big” union? Seems as though three topics “cherished” by Democrats are all nicely colliding in the muddled state of California: unions, “green” energy (it’s green because of how much public assistance it needs), and the environment.

And our old friend Bobo at The Bobo Files tells us about the middle class tax hike coming down the pike.

Dan Mitchell on cutting the Dept. of Education on CNBC

After watching this debate, there is simply no need for a Federal Department of Education. This Carter era bureaucracy needs to end.

Markets In All Things

How about a pirate hunting cruise?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

ObamaCare And A Guy Named Justin

Higher Taxes To Come!

House passes climate bill.

Democrats 219 votes; Republicans 212 votes. The final tally.

Up to the Senate it goes. Will it pass?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cap And Tax Vote Tomorrow!!

API has provided an updated SocialCapital widget that allows users to tell their representatives where they stand on this legislation. Do it now!!

George Will And Don Quixote

Subsidized windmills in Spain cost more than just failing to create substantial "green jobs."

Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report that, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration's green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.

Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital. (European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs elsewhere in Spain's economy.

Free market advocates have been warning for years that subsidizing industries deemed environmentally friendly by politicians that pander to environmentalists will not create enough jobs to justify the taxpayer expense. Clearly, from the Spanish example cited above, the result of government investing in "green" jobs has not panned out as the rhetoric claimed. Obama rode to the White House on the promise and hope that government "investment" in green industries would spur a wave of green collar jobs. Spain has tried "green investment" and it has turned out to be a very expensive fantasy. Why should we try the same expensive and fantastical experiment?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill Fiasco

Jane Van Ryan brought this to my attention yesterday. It seems that two of the most liberal congressmen in America want to rush
an expensive cap and trade bill through Congress. Go figure. We've been through this before and here we go again. Cap and trade in any form is a tax increase, in my opinion. It doesn't even work to reduce emissions as promised and it threatens the economy. The Club For Growth stated:

This bill would set up several new government programs and regulations, redistribute money in the form of subsidies to individuals and for corporate welfare payments, and perhaps worst of all, it would slap "carbon trade barriers" on any country that doesn't implement a climate change scheme similar to this proposal. And, according to the Heritage Foundation, the direct and indirect taxes on a family of four would reach almost $3000 per year if Waxman-Markey passes. Heritage also reports that, in the aggregate, GDP would drop by over $9.4 trillion with unemployment increasing by 2.5 million. This bill should be vigorously opposed.

And from Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute:

As independent analysis suggests, this legislation will drive up consumer prices for gasoline and other fuels. At today’s prices, it would mean gasoline at more than $4 a gallon. It also will create huge disincentives for the production of America’s abundant natural gas resources, and force jobs and productive capacity overseas.

We know that environmentalists want higher energy prices (particularly fossil fuels) in order to make alternatives attractive...even if it wreaks havoc on our economy. E-mail your congressman today and urge him or her to vote NO on Waxman-Markey (HR 2454).

On The Infant Mortality Rate

On a Disgruntled Republican, I posted this comment on the infant mortality rate:

The infant mortality rate is another misunderstood statistic that is commonly used by single-payer advocates to advance their agenda. The main issue with the infant mortality rate is how the OECD comes up with its data. In this case, the problem is the definition of “Live Birth.” The U.S. includes in its infant mortality rate extremely low-birth-weight infants (including those that will not survive) while many nations (many who score very high on the OECD list) DO NOT INCLUDE THESE SAME INFANTS. Even the WHO has gone on record and noted that across 23 European countries there are vast differences in recording and reporting live birth and fetal death within the European region. Essentially, the U.S. lands a lower ranking because it includes doomed low-birth-weight infants while many in the ranking do not. Now I ask you, how is this ranking fair and accurate? And how can anybody tie the quality of a country’s health care on this skewered ranking?

Liberals have been bashing the infant mortality rate statistic over free market conservatives for several years now with great results. But it is a faulty and disingenuous argument to say the least.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How To Cure Health Care

Milton Friedman on health care and how to fix it.

HT: Cafe Hayek

Ronald Reagan and Star Wars

Harrison Price over at the Just Politics blog reminds us that it was under President Ronald Reagan that the SDI or Ballistic Missile Defense was created and established despite great opposition from Democrats. Of course, now that North Korea is saber rattling, the missle defense system frowned upon by Barack Obama is now to be used to protect America.

Competing With The Government

Cato's Michael Cannon on what the public health care option would do to the private health care market:

Enjoy That Cup Of Joe, Friends

Coffee is good!

Coffee drinkers, rejoice! The heavenly brew, once deemed harmful to health, is turning out to be, if not quite a health food, at least a low-risk drink, and in many ways a beneficial one. It could protect against diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis and Parkinson's disease.

What happened? Lots of new research, and the recognition that older, negative studies often failed to tease apart the effects of coffee and those of smoking because so many coffee drinkers were also smokers.

Monday, June 22, 2009

John Stossel Blog

One of my favorite free-market advocates is now blogging!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pictures Of Iranian Protests

Here are some very powerful pictures of the protests in Iran.

Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy

The latest video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation.

"I would look at raising the capital gains tax for the purpose of fairness." Barack Obama. Not very pragmatic, Mr. President.

Geithner The Babbler

Remember all the flack that George W. Bush received for his occasional incoherent public speaking? Listen to Tim "tax scofflaw" Geithner in this Charlie Rose interview. The man is pure political spin babble; He makes very little sense to me.

HT: Liberty Pen

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Americans Love Government

Walter E. Williams at his best:

Aside from the general level of disgust that Americans have for congressmen, there's the question of whether there is anything that Congress does well. What about Social Security and Medicare? Congress has allowed Social Security and Medicare to accumulate an unfunded liability of $101 trillion. That means in order to pay promised elderly entitlement benefits, Congress would have to put trillions in the bank today earning interest. Congressional efforts to create "affordable housing" have created today's financial calamity. Congress props up failed enterprises such as Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service with huge cash subsidies, and subsidies in the forms of special tax treatment and monopoly rights. I can't think of anything that Congress does well yet we Americans call for them to take greater control over important areas of our lives.

I don't think that stupidity, ignorance or insanity explains the love that many Americans hold for government; it's far more sinister and perhaps hopeless.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Markets In All Things

Rock out at Denny's! Listen to some live acoustic music while digging your burger.

New Energy Blog

Jane Van Ryan and Jack N. Gerard have launched a new blog concentrating on domestic energy issues. So, if you want any information on energy issues or have any questions on petroluem and gas, head on over to Energy Tomorrow.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wishing Uncle Milty Were Here

There has been a lot of free form myth making by the left lately regarding free-market capitlism and Milton Friedman.

An Ode To Cheap Kiwi's

A kiwi costs 33 cents
Simply because no one prevents
Another farm or New York store
From entering and selling more.

In contrast apples may be dear,
For reasons that will soon be clear:
Picking them’s below our station,
To lower costs we need migration.

Bananas have a different story,
Seedless magic, breeder’s glory,
Cheap to harvest and to ship,
Who cares if workers get paid zip?

Read the whole poem here

The Essence of Political Science

Feudalism---You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Pure Socialism---You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you all the milk you need.

Read More.

A Visual History Of The Credit Card.

Ah, the credit card. Don't leave home without it.

Posts Of Worth And Note

From The Bobo Files: Obama driving the U.S. towards Fascism at record pace!

Shaving Leviathan reminds us of the scary fiscal truth soon to unfold.

Just Politics comments on Playboy's attack on conservative women.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Logic Test

Check your logic.

Demographics By Zip

This is a cool site to check out demographics by inserting a zip code. How well do you know your neighborhood?