Sunday, May 31, 2009
But what about the assessment that Utah won't go too far right?
I can't claim to be any expert on the moods and attitudes of Utah. Still, it seems to me that Utah is not necessarily what it appears on the surface.
Look at what Marxists might call the objective situation: General Motors nationalized! The banks cowed and cowering. The health system next.
I'll just mention Iran and North Korea having/working on nuclear weapons.
So the situation, from a conservative point of view, is desperate, tea parties or not.
So is Bob Bennett a guy for such a time?
Forgive the martial metaphor, but in the military there's a time for desk generals and a time for fighting generals. Grant, Sherman, Patton, Billy Mitchell -- these guys are just trouble in peace time, and what good are they then? But in war time ...
If you don't like martial metaphors, think of the difference between entrepreneurs and managers, or inventors and technicians.
So is a "peacetime" senator right for the times?
Conservatives would say no. They might say -- so what good is dickering in D.C? So the government only owns 65 percent of GM rather than 70 would be significant? Big deal!
Hard to say what's going on, in Utah or nationally. Or whether it can get 50 percent of the vote.
Still, are we in one of those watershed times? And can Bennett or other standard-issue Republicans survive?
But, however, can Shurtleff or others beat him? Can't beat something with nothing.
Friday, May 29, 2009
... it was thought that Chukchi's waters northwest of Alaska's landmass held 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Today, Science magazine reports that the U.S. Geological Survey now finds it holds more than anyone thought — 1.6 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world's supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the global conventional resources.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
... Washington will have no choice but to deal with him directly, rather than merely as one party among several in the multilateral talks that have characterized negotiations with North Korea since 2003.
Now is not the time for unilateral threats. The disaster in Iraq should be foremost in our minds when dealing with North Korea. And that means, hard as it may be to swallow, working with Beijing.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Why don't Democrats instead push to provide everyone with health care using the argument that ... everyone needs health care? ... Just a thought
So ... everybody needs food. So have the government be in charge of providing food!
Ooops, it's been tried, with not so good results. (Google "Communism, famimes")
I hurry to add that Kaus makes good points. There's no arbitrary percentage of national income that should or should not be spent on health.
And there is huge waste -- even conservatives admit that.
But who decides? And how?
The key element is what's productive. Good health care could be productive.
Bad health care ... Like, say, Medicare ...
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Turns out that's not what the groups said at all. In their letter to Obama, they promised to "do our part to achieve your Administration's goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points annual health-care spending growth rate -- saving $2 trillion or more." Of course, their part of that savings may be significantly less than the full $2 trillion. The groups offered no further specifics. And, anyway, there would be no way to enforce such a hazy commitment.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The market seems to want C.E.O.’s to offer a clear direction for their companies. There’s a tension between being resolute and being flexible. The research suggests it’s more important to be resolute, even at the cost of some flexibility.The second thing the market seems to want from leaders is a relentless and somewhat mind-numbing commitment to incremental efficiency gains. Charismatic C.E.O.’s and politicians always want the exciting new breakthrough — whether it is the S.U.V. or a revolutionary new car. The methodical executives at successful companies just make the same old four-door sedan, but they make it better and better.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Eventually, economists came to understand that vast numbers of individuals and businesses throughout the economy don't make exactly the same mistakes simultaneously unless something has changed the rules of the game. Government isn't always responsible--bubbles can occur on their own, as they have over the centuries--but systemic errors usually result from government policy.
Illustrating the Fed's failure is this graph showing the national median housing price ratio to the median annual income. For more than twenty years, this ratio moved in a narrow range between 2.9 and 3.1. This range held through several recessions, wars and expansions. Beginning In 2001, the ratio climbed to 3.3, peaking in 2006 at 4.6. This can only be described as a stunning increase for this long used indicator of housing affordability.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The bailout and the stimulus and the budget and the trillion-dollar deficits are not merely massive transfers from the most dynamic and productive sector to the least dynamic and productive. When governments annex a huge chunk of the economy, they also annex a huge chunk of individual liberty. You fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the state into something closer to that of junkie and pusher—and you make it very difficult ever to change back. Americans face a choice: They can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea—of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or they can join most of the rest of the Western world in terminal decline.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
The Times analysis exemplified our collective amnesia about Washington's repeated attempts to expand homeownership and the disasters they've caused. Each time we clean them up, then — as if under some strange compulsion — set in motion the mechanisms of the next housing calamity. That's exactly what we're doing once again.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Profits can be made when energy is rationed or subsidized, but only within an economy operating at lower, or even negative, growth rates. This means that over the longer term, everyone will be competing for a piece of a pie that is smaller than it would have been without energy rationing.
This does not auger well either for growth or for working our way out of today's crisis.
Yet wouldn’t you think people should know Gore is a partner in a company that has invested $1 billion of clients’ money in 40 companies set to benefit from the global warming policies he’s urging on the US?