Thursday, December 10, 2009

Keynesian Spending Is Practical?

A recent comment asserted that free market advocates are idealogues, while Keynesian advocates are realists. I think that's crap. Both are idealogues. That's okay with me. If you don't have ideals to draw from, what is your compass? One has to solve a problem by some means, and I think for most people, their idealism becomes their realism. Certainly, it does for me. But in our goofy world, one is deemed practical when they cross their ideology.

The real outcomes are what matters. So, what of the stimulus spending? First off, let's not forget that stimulus spending is both a Bush and Obama solution. From Chris Edwards, at the Cato Institute:
In his Brookings Institution speech yesterday, President Obama called for more Keynesian-style spending stimulus for the economy, including increased investment on government projects and expanded subsidy payments to the unemployed and state governments. The package might cost $150 billion or more.

The president said that we’ve had to “spend our way out of this recession.” We’ve certainly had massive spending, but it doesn’t seemed to have helped the economy, as the 10 percent unemployment rate attests to.

It’s not just that the Obama “stimulus” package from February has apparently failed. The total Keynesian stimulus is not measured by the spending in that bill only, but by the total size of federal government deficits.

I'm struck by the chart... which I cannot seem to add right now. It's worth clicking through to.

I would argue that Keynesian economics is dogma for Democrats, (and for the liberal Republicans like Bush) but doesn't appear very practical in terms of boosting the economy. We haven't even seen the inflation yet. Look out! Perhaps it has been very practical in boosting this President's poularity, even while it did nothing for Bush. It's all very curious. In any case, maybe it's time for Obama to become truly practical by today's odd standard of the word, and start adopting some market solutions.

Mourdock at Cato

I finally listened to the Cato Daily Podcasts from October 23 & 26, to hear Indiana's Treasurer's take on the Chrysler bailout, and how it affected funds for the Indiana teacher's union and state police. He made a convincing Constitutional and moral case that those holding secured assets should have been first in line for payoff at bankruptcy, and not facing pennies on the dollar.

Go to the Cato Daily Podcast archive via this link, and look for the Oct 23 installment titled "Fallout from Chrysler's Bankruptcy featuring Richard Mourdock", and the Oct. 26 installment titled "Obama Versus the Rule of Law".

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

You Can Never Go Wrong Underestimating...

Abandon ye all hope. "Petitioning" to increase inflation to 100%. The man should be fearing for his life. Alas.

At least one man stood his ground and refused to sign.

Why I Don't Trust Government

Sometimes when I get into a political discussion, I find myself being asked why I have an almost total, reflexive instinct to not trust government. Why is it that I won't give the benefit of the doubt.

Unlimited evidence?

Let's put it this way: Why should I trust our government to not make health care in this country 100% worse, when this sort of thing can be permitted by that same government, per ABC News:
At least 12 members of Osama bin Laden's family currently hold Federal Aviation Administration pilot's licenses that make them eligible to fly aircraft anywhere in the United States, including three who received their licenses just this June, according to an analysis of FAA records provided to ABC News by a computer security firm, Safe Banking Systems.

One of the three who received his FAA licenses this year, Yeslam bin Laden, a half-brother of Osama who lives in Geneva, Switzerland, is named in a civil lawsuit brought by the families of 9/11 victims alleging he helped to finance Osama's al-Qaeda network as it started up in the 1990s in Yemen and the Sudan.

I scarcely know where to begin.

We're at war in order to find Osama bin Laden. This is because he commanded men TO FLY PLANES INTO BUILDINGS.

I'm not in favor of our current wars, but if I were in charge of the thing, we would be done within two weeks. Bin Laden's half-brother filled out an application! For the love of all that is good and decent, stroll up to his address, grab that man, and maybe a half-dozen of the other kin, and let the ransoming begin!

The ineptitude is staggering. Why do I not trust government? That's rich. Good one.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Great Post On Copenhagen Global Warming Issues

Reason Magazine's Nick Gillespie put together a fantastic post on Reason's Hit & Run blog, covering several different angles that lead up to a handful of conclusions, but mainly: the majority of American don't want to see a sweeping solution that could hurt the economy.

I'm no expert, but I find it reasonable to believe that man's pollution could impact climate globally. However, I don't believe that capping emissions in the USA at the rates frequently discussed are worth doing. Just as Bush's pre-emptive war struck me as a huge, out-of-proportion response to a low probability possible future catastrophic outcome, the usual cap solutions I see strike me as parallels.

Also, I've long been skeptical of the environmentalist Chicken Little approach. When the Al Gore's of the world had been shutting down skeptical inquiry, declaring the debate was over, it began to become religion and not science so far as I could see. Those climategate emails did nothing to improve that view.

I say, have a nice meeting in Copenhagen, and the US should do nothing more than China or India do.

Indy, or Alabama

This is my 7th Winter here in Central Indiana, and I remain floored at the inability of locals to drive properly when there is a little snow and ice on the ground. I would expect people in Alabama or Florida to not know how to manage, but Indianapolis? On my short drive with my little girl to her school, there were two cars run off into the ditch- on straight sections of road! The passage took 2x as long as usual. This snow and ice was nothing. Zippo.

Slow down, tap the brakes, learn which way to cut the wheel if you're sliding.