I didn’t get any discussion of some of the links I posted below, so I’ll try one more time, bringing them back to the top. First, some new links:
alternativeright.com has not quite replaced nationalreview.com as my favorite political website, but only because NRO has a great deal more content; the average quality of alternativeright.com is higher. The two links above succinctly skewer the Fed’s insane “quantitative easing” strategy. The dollar is the naked Emperor, but the clever children pointing this out are (much more realistically than in the original Hans Christian Andersen story) ridiculed and marginalized. At some point the Emperor is going to need to carry out certain inevitable functions, and the resulting dump will send everyone running for the exits; I recommend leaving early.
John Derbyshire and I have corresponded frequently about math and politics, and I finally got to meet him at the Mencken conference last month. His “Radio Derb” broadcasts on NRO always brighten my day with their cheerful pessimism. Those with the time to do so should listen rather than read the transcripts linked above in order to get the full effect.
Now for some repeats, two old posts which very undeservingly got no comments:
Here are a couple of interesting posts from the libertarian Cato Institute:
Those to the left of center in America seem to be quite inconsistent about what kinds of freedoms they would grant us if they gain political power. For example, people must be protected from the consequences of bad dietary choices by taxes and bans, but encouraged to make as many kinds of sexual choices as possible; cigarette smokers are to be discouraged and marijuana smokers to be encouraged; people are to be protected from bad financial choices by restrictions on how they can invest their retirement money but encouraged to make bad financial choices where home lending is concerned, and so on. What is the common thread which explains these apparent inconsistencies? (I have my own ideas but would like to see what commenters say first.)
This economist, Jeffrey Miron, shares all the mindless liberal economic assumptions that might lead an otherwise sane person to believe that massive increases in government spending were a sensible response to the economic crisis, but even he can’t help recognizing that the legislation actually passed makes things much worse:
The stimulus adopted was a
missed opportunity of colossal proportions.
That the Administration and Congress chose the particular
stimulus adopted suggests that stimulating the economy was
not their only objective. Instead, the Administration used the
recession and the financial crisis to redistribute resources to favored
interest groups (unions, the green lobby, and public education)
and to increase the size and scope of government. This redistribution
does not make every element of the package
indefensible, but even the components with a plausible justification
were designed in the least productive and most redistributionist
If it weren’t so scary, it would be amusing that a Harvard professor of Economics has such a touchingly naive view of politicians as to expect them to do what is right for the country as a whole rather than reward their supporters. James Buchanan explained all this over half a century ago in “The Calculus of Consent”, available online here:
But I suppose Buchanan’s Nobel Prize wasn’t enough for Miron to have absorbed the lessons of his work, since Harvard economists do not think a Nobel is enough to compensate for having gotten one’s doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Comments on the pictures and music I provided below would also be appreciated, there is more to life than politics.