01 March, 2011

ABC News Confused About Abundance and Scarcity

The problem with this ABC News segment is that this line of thinking ignores half the equation. Yes, if we spend more on X (American-­made goods in this case), more jobs producing X will result. But, all that money would have been used for something else had it not gone to X. Any valid analysis has to consider the effects of not using that money for whatever it is redirected from. David Muir and ABC News don't even try to understand this "opportuni­ty cost." Maybe tomorrow they will propose that we all buy an American-m­ade good, smash it with a sledgehamm­er, and go buy a replacemen­t. Presto! Twice as many new jobs. Same basic fallacy.

Opportunit­y cost: http://www­.economist­.com/resea­rch/Econom­ics/alphab­etic.cfm?l­etter=O#op­portunityc­ost

A review of the segment: http://blo­gs.forbes.­com/beltwa­y/2011/03/­01/with-ma­de-in-amer­ica-abc-ne­ws-gets-tr­ade-story-­all-wrong/

A relevant essay written in 1845 by a Frenchman-­-kilometer­s beyond ABC's confused offering: http://bit­.ly/fyMF22

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

29 January, 2011

Think Locally, Demonize Extradimensionally

It's not entirely surprising that somebody who wrote a book titled Free Trade Doesn't Work is now claiming that people who think free trade does work are anti-American.  But, think about it for longer than it takes to read a Tweet and any sense to it evaporates.  Why suggest that somebody is anti-American just because they disagree with you about trade policy?  Isn't that more about means than ends?  It doesn't matter what they think is the best policy, says Fletcher (when questioned), because "the bad guys" have already admitted to having freedom as their one and only value and that means they can't prefer American prosperity over prosperity abroad.  Never having met anyone with fewer than two values, I found this to be a new and exotic argument.  See my dissection of this noxious subspecies in the comments section here (look for "voxpolitico").

27 January, 2011

Could Be Better...

...But, definitely could be worse (i.e., the sixteen presidents before him).

At least he implies, in very guarded language, the need to shift away from the incarceration mindset.