Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random Thoughts From Thomas Sowell

From Thomas Sowell:

One of the most important talents for success in politics is the ability to make utter nonsense sound not only plausible but inspiring. Barack Obama has that talent. We will be lucky if we escape the catastrophes into which other countries have been led by leaders with that same charismatic talent.

Read the rest here

The Funny Thing About Statistics...

Q: How many statisticians does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One—plus or minus three.

Bar-rump-bump...crash. More funny stuff about statistics.

Price Controls And Government Handouts Strike Again

From the WSJ:

Dairy farmers created traffic chaos in Berlin, blocked milk-processing plants in France and protested at the European Union's headquarters in Brussels on Monday, seeking more aid to cope with a drop in milk prices...

...Dairy farmers say price declines of as much as 50% over the past year have forced them to sell milk below cost. EU farm ministers began two days of talks Monday and were expected to discuss ways to increase dairy farmers' incomes. France and Germany have promised to coordinate support action to boost milk prices.

The above is another stellar example of price controls and the ills they bring. Price controls have negative consequences because price ceilings/floors mean a refusal to pay the true costs of a resource. It also illustrates how government, by choosing to subsidize and support one group over others, creates a sense of entitlement and dependence that is ultimately counter productive to the society that ventures down that path.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Markets In All Things

Ladies and gentlemen, The Study Ball.

The Dorm Fire

Police Slog Through 40,000 Insipid Party Pics To Find Cause Of Dorm Fire

Free market capitalism has made cell phone use ubiquitous. The Onion gets it right yet again.

Cartoon of the day

Friday, May 22, 2009

California Unemployment Rate Drops

From The Los Angeles Times:

The U.S. Labor Department says California lost 63,700 jobs in April. But the unemployment rate drops to 11% from March's 11.2%, and one economist sees joblessness leveling off.

This shouldn't be much of a surprise particularly with Obama's stimulus funds making its way through state economies. The question is how much will it level off and will the stimulus funds create the amount of jobs that the Administration forecasted?

Abolish The Fed!

Milton Friedman at age 92 warns of the temptation of government spending money it does not have.

HT: Liberty Pen

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another $7.5 Billion For GMAC

Now that the Obama Administration has set Fiat and the UAW as owners of GM, I expect more tax dollars to shore up GM and Chrysler for many years to come.

BTW, GM might still end up bankrupt even with all the taxpayer funds thrown its way.

The Art of Spin In The Health Care Debate

Last week I decided to challenge a liberal blogger on some assertions he made regarding a survey he posted on his blog. The survey compared Medicare and private insurance providers; it measured how satisfied enrollees' were with their plans. I immediately noticed that the survey was conducted by The Commonwealth Fund, a group that strongly advocates the expansion of Medicare and that the conclusions of the survey were misleading. Essentially by comparing Medicare to a basket of private insurance companies The Commonwealth Fund had pulled a little statistical trick--by comparing all manner of private insurance companies--the good, the average, the bad, they had essentially kept the average scores for the private insurance company much lower than if they had taken the best insurance company scores and compared it to Medicare. My rationale is that if you are going to advocate that Medicare is the best public option than it should be measured against the best private option. Needless to say, my criticisms of The Commonwealth Fund’s tactics were not happily received. My last post was deleted from the site by its owner, a fellow that didn't understand what "rationing" means in economics and yet claimed that he was an adherent of Austrian economics many years ago. But worst of all, if you read his responses to my comments, this is a man who is the true embodiment of a technocrat; a person that believes in the soundness of bureaucratic systems and the technicians that run them. If we do get Obama Care, I expect just this sort to make decisions for the rest of us. And we will all be much maligned indeed as our economy is dragged down by the balloning cost of a massive public health care plan.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Political Charade and Deregulation

Thomas Sowell on the housing crisis:

The word repeated endlessly in these political charades is "deregulation." The idea is that it was a lack of government supervision which allowed "greed" in the private sector to lead the nation into crises that only our Beltway saviors can solve.

What utter rubbish this all is can be found by checking the record of how government regulators were precisely the ones who imposed lower mortgage lending standards— and it was members of Congress (of both parties) and who pushed the regulators, the banks and the mortgage-buying giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into accepting risky mortgages, in the name of "affordable housing" and more home ownership. Presidents of both parties also jumped on the bandwagon.

Social Security and Medicare hit the fan

Oh crap! Social Security and Medicare are in trouble. Again. What a surprise. I'm so caught off guard. Can I have all the money I paid into these ponzi schemes back now? I wonder how in the world Obama thinks that he is going to fund a single payer national health care plan AND solve the Social Security/Medicare financial debacle? This is going to get very interesting.

Monday, May 11, 2009

President Obama's Deferral Proposal: Hamstringing American Companies, Reducing American Jobs

The latest video from Dan Mitchell and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation highlights the issue of Obama's proposal to severely restrict the "tax deferral" for American companies trying to earn market share in other nations. My favorite line by Dan Mitchell in this video regards politicians and tax revenue: " Politician's love tax revenue, it's like crack to them."

Industries Push for Free Pollution Credits

Let the lobbying begin! (Horn blast!) We can plainly see that there will be government chosen losers and winners right from the very start of any legislation capping greenhouse-gas emissions. And the biggest losers will be the American taxpayer whom also will lose mightingly when it comes time to consume energy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ron Paul vs. Bernanke

Watch as Ron Paul poses some very incisive questions and comments to Ben Bernanke during a recent congressional hearing. Also notice how Bernanke, a very intelligent and learned man, simply does not understand that he is part of a government bureaucracy that is slowly dragging the American economy into the hands of big government power.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obama Motors!

So, we have Obama's word (whatever that's worth to you) that the government will back GM warranty's. Oh, that is just super.