07 November, 2009

"...diabolical, ruthless bunch of bureaucrats..."

Amy Poehler vehicle Parks and Recreation is starting to seem like an effective dramatization of public choice theory (relevant plot line begins at 1:40)...

11 August, 2009

Of peaceniks, Astroturfing and outside meddling

As it is in places like Iran and Myanmar, so it is in the United States: ordering of society by government's shining stars could be so great, so smooth...if it just weren't for the interfering activists on the wrong (authority-questioning) side of the ideologic divide.

01 August, 2009

22 July, 2009

Seeking a Policy Policy

This morning I called my insurance company and asked what kind of protection I can get against my country moving toward fascism. They said "none." I asked why not. Their reply: pre-existing condition.

- certified Vox Politico original humor, 7/22/09

21 July, 2009

03 June, 2009

Future GM Model Name Suggestions

- Chevrolet Edict
- Cadillac IOU (in red only)
- Buick Teknokrat
- GMC Leviathan
- Chevy Coercer
- Cadillac Anchor
- Buick Bloodsucker
- GMC Truck Product #8Q722326.3

28 May, 2009

"GM Was So Awful, I Just Had To Buy It!" Said Every American

"Enjoy!" replied the Universe.

This play was inspired by actual events.

It's So Amazing That Minimum Wage Increases Don't Hurt A Single Person

The EPI study found the July 2007 minimum wage hike benefited over 700,000 families and added $1.7 billion in additional spending over the following year.

A July 2008 increase benefited over 1.3 million families and added $3.1 billion in additional spending over the following year, the EPI analysts added.

Yep, not a single person hurt. I'm dumbfounded. Stupefied. So much so that I now believe we should pass more and ever larger increases in the minimum wage so that we'll become wealthier and wealthier, ad absurdum.

21 May, 2009

Government's Fundamental Job?

"[South Carolina's] top educator said Sanford was obstructing government's fundamental job of educating children."

Background here.

23 April, 2009

A police report

Notice anything missing?

090002172 Society VICTIM of Fail To Identify Giving False/ficticious Info (C), at 18XX Texoma Pk, Sherman, TX, on 04/22/2009, 20:13. Reported: 04/22/2009. GANN, T. LW *LW30488*
[04/22/2009 22:58, TIMG, 42] T. Gann 134 On 04-22-09, Officer Rhoades arrested a female in the 1800 block of Texoma Pk. The female gave a false name. She was arrested for FAIL TO IDENTIFY. Fail To Identify Giving False/ficticious Info


11 March, 2009

Infinite Excuses, Finite Resources

It seems there is always some justification to be presented to we, the bankrupt citizen-shareholders in this grand enterprise.

For TARP it was "the far greater cost of doing nothing." Remember, anything other than massive forced indebtedness of citizens is "nothing."

For the bailout(s) of GM and Chrysler it was the "catastrophic" "ripple effects" of not confiscating people's money for the companies.

For the so-called stimulus package, it was the "consequences of inaction" (i.e., of not taking those hundreds of billions of dollars from wherever they were (or were not) and putting them where Congress and various other elected and non-elected officials decide to put it).

For various Federal Reserve acts of profligacy, which are difficult if not impossible to track or measure, it was variations on the same theme.

And now, for the $410 billion budget bill, it is "last year's business." (Is there an earmark for a time machine in there?) Yet, it represents "a clear win for Democrats..."
Generous above-inflation increases are spread throughout, including a $2.4 billion, 13 percent increase for the Agriculture Department and a 10 percent increase for the money-losing Amtrak passenger rail system.
No doubt life without the the next extended trip (Stimulus II?) into even deeper caverns of debt will be equally unthinkable to the Deciders.

27 February, 2009

Fine Point

Clever, brief post over at FEE's blog. What can you do with individual effort? Who should do the things you can't do? Read it.

24 February, 2009

Comments on tonight's Obama speech

- "We will" translates pretty reliably to "you must." ("we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years...We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines...we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power...we will expand our commitment to charter schools...we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college...we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan...")

- Has Obama not seen the commercials? There is no (and can never be?) such a thing as "clean coal," according to them.

- "...the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." Why not? And how do we know that Tesla and/or some other startups wouldn't create a better future American auto industry? Instead, we tax them to subsidize the Not-So-Big Three.

- "...we must have quality, affordable health care for every American." Saying "we must" have something does not change its affordability. When somebody comes up with a new drug or diagnostic technology, there is no automatic increase in national wealth that pays for every citizen to obtain that new drug or technology. Simple words can't change economic realities. They can persuade people to act in counterproductive and aggressive ways, however.

- The G.I. Bill: After Obama mentioned it I was interested to find that it is not an unquestioned success (which it sometimes seems to be). Here's proof.

- "...we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow." I'm not worried about a foreign worker/company out-competing an American worker/company. I'm not worried about a Louisiana worker/company out-competing a Texas worker/company. Etc. I've got bigger fish to fry.

15 February, 2009

Reuters: Not funding X same as banning X

It's nice that in the third paragraph the writer of this news article finally gets around to stating what actually is at issue after grossly misstating it in the opening paragraph. (The headline is also false, but editors, rather than reporters, are often to blame for these.)

Hey, I'm all for embryonic stem cell research. I feel no compassion for small clumps of cells in petri dishes. But, no matter how many times it is stated this way in articles and editorials, refusing to fund something is not the same as banning it. In fact, government funding for a thing means every taxpayer is forced to pay for that thing, including those who oppose that thing.

If most citizens understood these two truths, we would have ourselves a more peaceful world:
  • It is perfectly consistent to oppose a practice and oppose banning that practice.
  • It is perfectly consistent to support a cause and oppose government funding of that cause.