December 27, 2012

Worth a read. Guns are not the problem. Unstable and mentally ill people are.

December 26, 2012

Singles Voters Make the Difference

Hat tip to John Mauldin referencing a piece by Gary D. Halbert:

"As a surging percentage of US voters, singles are a game changer. They see the world differently in terms of their own personal security and the future – or at least that is how they vote.
To get a sense of how powerful the marriage effect is, not just for women but for men, too, look at the exit polls by marital status. Among non-married voters – people who are single and have never married, are living with a partner, or are divorced – Obama beat Romney 62-35. Among married voters Romney won the vote handily, 56-42."

Thomas Sowell: Fiscal Cliff Notes (Part II) — Frontiers of Freedom

Part II of Thomas Sowell's rational analysis on the political charade that dominates Washington these days. The nation has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, a fact that the media fails to fully examine. Instead, they buy the Democrat political spin.

Thomas Sowell: Fiscal Cliff Notes (Part II) — Frontiers of Freedom: "The bottom line is that Barack Obama’s blaming increased budget deficits on the Bush tax cuts is demonstrably false. What caused the decreasing budget deficits after the Bush tax cuts to suddenly reverse and start increasing was the mortgage crisis. The deficit increased in 2008, followed by a huge increase in 2009.
So it is sheer hogwash that “tax cuts for the rich” caused the government to lose tax revenues. The government gained tax revenues, not lost them. Moreover, “the rich” paid a larger amount of taxes, and a larger share of all taxes, after the tax rates were cut.
That is because people change their economic behavior when tax rates are changed, contrary to what the Congressional Budget Office and others seem to assume, and this can stimulate the economy more than a government “stimulus” has done under either Bush or Obama."

Washington Times, Thomas Sowell: Fiscal Cliff Notes (Part I), 12/4/12

Thomas Sowell is right about politics dominating any serious discussion publicly about the trillion dollar deficits and mounting debt from TeamObama. The hand-wringing about recession and the fiscal cliff is steeped in politics and not serious negotiations to right the nation's fiscal ship.

Washington Times, Thomas Sowell: Fiscal Cliff Notes (Part I), 12/4/12“All the political angst and moral melodrama about getting ‘the rich’ to pay ‘their fair share’ is part of a big charade. This is not about economics, it is about politics. Taxing ‘the rich’ will produce a drop in the bucket when compared to the staggering and unprecedented deficits of the Obama administration.”"

'via Blog this'

December 23, 2012

Arthur Brooks: America's Dangerous Powerball Economy -

When will people wake up to the fact that we have a spending problem with a host of consequences that are bad for the nation. Meanwhile, the media and most Americans, I fear, have bought the spin that we have a revenue problem. President Obama's war on the rich is, sadly, working.
Arthur Brooks: America's Dangerous Powerball Economy - "It is a simple fact that the United States is becoming an entitlement state. The problem with this is not just that it is bankrupting the country. It is that the entitlement state is impoverishing the lives of the growing millions dependent on unearned resources. The good news is that we have a golden opportunity to rein in entitlements, for the first time in many years.
But there is bad news, too. President Obama argues that the real problem is undertaxing the public, not overspending on entitlements. He is currently asking Congress for $1.3 trillion in tax increases over a decade but less than $1 trillion in spending cuts—largely deferred, meaning much of that may not even take place. A study by Ernst & Young shows that Mr. Obama's proposed tax hikes would force small businesses to eliminate about 710,000 jobs."

December 16, 2012

Welcome to Saudi Albany? -

Welcome to Saudi Albany? - "If there is an uneasy equilibrium, right now, between environmentally concerned citizens and pro-fracking industrial groups, what will the political balance be like in a decade? What pressures will be on state legislatures and regulators if the projections are true and the millions of workers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and maybe New York will owe their jobs to fracking. There will be trillions of dollars of new wealth. Will environmental and health concerns have any chance against that juggernaut?"

Some pretend that the producers should pay the full price of the fracking revolution  Consumers always pay the cost of goods and services. That's the way it should be in our economy. 

It's to everyone's benefit to keep these costs rational and consistent with environmental and health protection but not bloated by unnecessary constraints and huge new government bureaucracies.

December 12, 2012

The 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug -

The 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug - "...Everyone may want the right to use tobacco products and engage in other behaviors that are unequivocally linked with disease — or have the right not to wear a seat belt and refrain from other actions that may protect their well-being. But, if so, should society have the obligation to cover the costs of the consequences?..."

While I endorse the use of a daily aspirin dose and take one myself, I don't endorse the underlying ideology this author suggests early in the piece that certain substances be banned by political fiat as Bloomberg is doing in New York.

For sure, I agree that people should be encouraged to participate in a healthy lifestyle and educated about the negative consequences of certain foods and substances, but banning these for all people is an abridgment of freedom and liberty. This is a very difficult area, I know, particularly for those substances that are not highly addictive or gateways to addictive substances that are damaging to health and society, e.g., hard drugs and the crime that follows their use.

I agree with the author that society should not have to bear the consequences of stupid or self-damaging behaviors by individuals who abuse their freedom and avoid responsibility and accountability. A reasonable way to accomplish that is by society and government condemning such behavior and making it very expensive monetarily for people to participate in it. The high taxes on tobacco products is a case in point.  Another way is for insurance costs for people who abuse themselves with dangerous substances or behavior to be higher. Fairness and reasonableness demand there be a price paid by individuals for their risky behavior.

This is not meant to be mean or unforgiving of people who cannot control their lives, but those who can and won't should not be able to ride free on society's largess.