Distortion

Wealth_of_Nations

@Pete, who wrote: “at the same time, [Adam Smith] saw the need of government as an interventionary force to prevent excesses that worked against the general public interest” In the material you quoted, and elsewhere, he argued strenuously against exactly this. It is precisely such government interference, “[t]he proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce,” that he warned required “great caution” because of the involvement of crony capitalism. […]

Gas Attack

OilPrices

Charles Krauthammer has written favorably of adding more taxes to the cost of gasoline:

For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more.

NB: 32 years ago, Dr. Krauthammer was […]

Presidential Economy

economy

Do presidents really have an effect on the US economy? That question was put to me. Here’s my reply. The Clinton era was an utter and complete financial disaster — to the point where Republicans won the midterms in a landslide, and were able to force through tax reductions and other Federal constraints. […]

Minimum Wage, Maximum Impact

MinimumWage

I was challenged in another forum recently because I had indicated that fewer than 5% of the workforce was at minimum wage. She had heard differently: […]

Obamacare “not yet a flop”

Now, you suggest that the Republican plans put forward to address the issue with uninsured citizens is “nothing.” This is, evidently, because Obama and the news media kept up this meme, that there was “nothing” other than Obamacare. The various proposals included pools (essentially, a modest expansion to Medicaid) to address pre-existing conditions as well as free-market expansions. The former isolate that population from the huge majority; the latter provisions provide some of the controls on price that have caused substantial drops in other areas of medical cost. […]

Sunday Verse 2: Root of Evil

the-food-for-thought-award

As noted last Sunday, I’ve been given the “Food for Thought Award” (nominated by Citizen Tom) — and it has some obligations. Among them are these writings, on seven Biblical verses that have been significant or inspirational to me. This is the second. There are nominations involved as well, and a few sprang immediately to mind. My old friend the extraordinary SeraphimSigrist would be an ideal candidate, for one — his thoughtful writings reflect his beneficent doings in his travels far and wide spreading his faith. I always learn something interesting from him. […]

Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike

My Lady and I enjoyed it. There was a certain discontinuity from the actors being different. Hank Reardon is very reminiscent of Ed Harris here, huskier of voice but in the range that Harris can do. Dagny’s pretty-boy brother is well-portrayed, as is Dagny herself. And I think this Francisco d’Anconia is a significant improvement […]

Black Monday Revisted

WSJ cover

Today, October 19th, is the anniversary of Black Monday, the day a quarter-century ago when the stock market fell 22% in a single day. For my Lady and I, quite active in the markets, it was an exciting time — we had been short from the previous Wednesday and did well indeed that day. But there were grave concerns: […]

Catastrophes, Then and Now

A comment from Digital_Knight: I take it you don’t put a lot of stock in predictions of crisis? Well, it depends upon the data. I did not place reliance on the Y2K crisis predictions, as I too was in IT (as this post mentions). […]

California Prop 37: GMOs

California has a proposition on the ballot that hopes to affect food costs for the entire country. Proposition 37 would require new labeling for certain foods that involve genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. […]