Monday, December 28, 2009

Government Failure vs Private Solutions

Government failure:
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) joined GOP critics in asking how the suspect was able to retain a U.S. visa — issued by the U.S. Embassy in London in 2008 — after his name appeared in the terrorist database.

“What happened after this man’s father called our embassy in Nigeria?” Lieberman asked. “What happened to that information? Was there follow-up to try to determine where this suspect was?”


Private Solution:
Jasper Schuringa, an Amsterdam resident, lunged toward the fire in Row 19, jumping from one side of the plane to the other and over several other passengers. He burned his fingers as he grabbed a piece of melting plastic held by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused Saturday of trying to bring down the passenger jet with a homemade explosive device.

Schuringa, a video producer, restrained Abdulmutallab as others used blankets and fire extinguishers to douse the flames.

"When I saw the suspect, that he was getting on fire, I freaked, of course, and without any hesitation I just jumped over all the seats," Schuringa told CNN on Saturday. "And I jumped to the suspect. I was thinking like, he's trying to blow up the plane."


"I am grateful to the passengers and crew aboard Northwest Flight 253 who reacted quickly and heroically to an incident that could have had tragic results..."

Friday, November 27, 2009

ClimateGate Denial

There is a lot of denial out there, from the alarmist crowd on the effect of ClimateGate on Global Warming, err, Climate Change. Jones wrote: “My colleagues and I accept that some of the published emails do not read well… Some were clearly written in the heat of the moment, others use colloquialisms frequently used between close colleagues.”

As can be suspected, RealClimate is still in full "Cover Our Ass" mode. They are saying that it is all taken out of context. As I said before, I'm sure some of it is out of context. The code that CRU used is the worst offender. The code used to plot the data and create those wonderful "hockey Stick" graphs used to scare everyone to cut off their left foot to save the planet, was not, I repeat not out of context nor was is written in the "heat of the moment." The coding is deliberate, and as such gives a greater insight into what was going on.
  • In the Files maps12.pro maps15.pro maps24.pro
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures.
of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually
  • From documents\harris-tree\recon_esper.pro:
; Computes regressions on full, high and low pass Esper et al. (2002) series,
; anomalies against full NH temperatures and other series.
; CALIBRATES IT AGAINST THE LAND-ONLY TEMPERATURES NORTH OF 20 N
;
; Specify period over which to compute the regressions (stop in 1960 to avoid ; the decline
  • From file documents\harris-tree\recon1.pro
; Computes regressions on full, high and low pass MEAN timeseries of MXD
; anomalies against full NH temperatures.
; THIS IS FOR THE AGE-BANDED (ALL BANDS) STUFF OF HARRY’S
;
; Specify period over which to compute the regressions (stop in 1940 to avoid ; the decline
  • From file recon_mann.pro
; Computes regressions on full, high and low pass MEAN timeseries of MXD
; anomalies against full NH temperatures.
; THIS IS FOR THE Mann et al. reconstruction
; CALIBRATES IT AGAINST THE LAND-ONLY TEMPERATURES NORTH OF 20 N
; IN FACT, I NOW HAVE AN ANNUAL LAND-ONLY NORTH OF 20N VERSION OF MANN,
; SO I CAN CALIBRATE THIS TOO – WHICH MEANS I’m ONLY ALTERING THE SEASON
  • briff_sep98_e.pro:
; PLOTS ‘ALL’ REGION MXD timeseries from age banded and from hugershoff
; standardised datasets.
; Reads Harry’s regional timeseries and outputs the 1600-1992 portion
; with missing values set appropriately. Uses mxd, and just the
; “all band” timeseries
;****** APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE*********
Of course there is more. It will take time to figure out all the tricks they used to "avoid the decline." The main point is that they CRU crew were deathly afraid of this decline. Specifically the divergence from the tree ring data and temperature. Here is what the graph would look like if the post 1960 data is put in to the graph.
Where is the sudden rise in temperatures that the very "credible" CRU crew has been telling us is right there? There is no "Hockey Stick!" Tell Gore to give back his Nobel.

Now there can be something said that the tree ring data for post-1960 isn't accurate. So if it's not accurate post-60's, how can we be certain it's accurate pre-1960? There is a serious lack of credibility in the data here. This same data has been used to write up IPCC reports that keep telling us we are cooking the planet. These same data sets have been referenced and used in hundred of climate models. The same models that fail to show the recent cooling/stability in global mean temperature. Simply put, the whole deck of cards has been built on a very weak foundation, that is now starting to crumble. Every paper that has used the CRU data sets, has to be re-written and reevaluated. Anything less is sloppy and junk science. This from CBS news.
...the CRU wields outsize influence: it claims the world’s largest temperature data set, and its work and mathematical models were incorporated into the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report. That report, in turn, is what the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged it “relies on most heavily” when concluding that carbon dioxide emissions endanger public health and should be regulated.

Let's put it in terms that the Left knows, Enron scandal.
Enron (CRU) has been keeping it's books closed so know one can verify what they have been doing. A whistleblower (hacker) alerts everyone that Enron has been cooking the books. Auditors (McIntyre/Skeptical crowd) comes in and finds serious breaches in ethics and standards (Emails, Code from Jones, Mann and Hansen).
Do you:
A) Try to prosecute the whitle blower for violating Enron's right to privacy? (Not the case in CG, since CRU is publicly funded and subject to FOI laws)

B) Admit that is looks bad, but assure everyone that Enron is doing a full internal audit and they will straighten everything out themselves. (This is whats coming from RealClimate, Univ East Anglia, WaPo and numerous Left media camps)

C) Demand full transperency and hold Enron (Jones, Mann, Harris, Schmidt etc) accountable for what is, FRUAD! Demand that everyone has a chance too look at the books and do full independent audits and hold Congressional hearing in the matter.

D) A&B

I'm simply amazed at how the Left, in response to Enron, wants C. Now that it's ClimateGate, they want D.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cure is worse than the disease

A response to this post at Liberal Rapture.

Most of what Bush and Obama has done with the economy is to put lipstick on a pig. That's why the numbers are "farcically low" and yes everyone knows it. Those "economists yapping on TV" aren't economists, I doubt any of them has a solid economic background, most likely just the standard simple Keynesian background. They either can't see the forest for the trees or more simply they are just going with the propaganda that the Feds are feeding them.

CNBC, whose parent company is NBC, whose parent company is GE has a huge stake in towing the Administration line, lest they lose all those generous contracts. Yes it sounds like a conspiracy theory but that doesn't take away from the underlying message. You can't pay the people who are supposed to keep you accountable. Why do you think all those people bought all those mortgage backed securities, because the ratings agencies were being paid by the originators of those securities to rate them AAA. It was a huge con job, back with full faith and credit of the US Government, based on horrible Keynesian economic policies.

The truth of the matter is, everything to government is doing now is all wrong. They are treating the symptoms instead of the disease. More to the point they are treating the symptoms with the disease. Ultra low interest rates fueled the bubble, so what do they do...keep interest rates ultra low. An over investment in low income home ownership built the bubble, so what do they do...expand government housing subsidies for low income earners. They haven't learned anything, and it's naive to think they ever will. There is just too much money to be made and the politicians are on the take, just like any other day.

It will only get worse before it gets better. Housing prices haven't been allowed to correct themselves and the commercial real estate market is on the verge of collapse. Inflation will pick up again once all those reserves that the banks have start to flow into the economy. That will happen once money demand reaches the new equilibrium. Unemployment will stay high for years to come.

More CRU links

There has been more and more commentary on the CRU scandal, aka Climategate.

I for one think that the more people know, the better the debate will be. Knowledge is too valuable to be kept in the hands of a select few.

ClimateGate: The Fix is In.
Yes, this is a theft of data-but the purpose of the theft was to blow the whistle on a much bigger, more brazen crime. The CRU has already called in the police to investigate the hacker. But now someone needs to call in the cops to investigate the CRU.
Iowahawk is a great piece;
But there's a problem: as the worker researchers attempt to store each raw datum into the neat honeycomb hockey stick structure provided by the hive's Alpha Grantwriter, they discover that few will fit. The infrared shows them growing cool with fear. This signals the climate researcher's instinctive behavior to begin viciously beating, rolling and normalizing the data into submission. According to Dr. Nigel V.H. Oldham, professor emeritus at Oxford University's Centre for Metascience, this violent data dance is what makes climate researchers unique among breeds of scientists.
More and more Americans are becoming skeptical.
Since its peak three and-a-half years ago, belief that climate change is happening is down sharply among Republicans -- 76 to 54 percent -- and independents -- 86 to 71 percent. It dipped modestly among Democrats, 92 to 86 percent
Just think what those numbers could be if the MSM hadn't blacked out the ClimateGate scandal?
The Obama administration has another reason to hate Fox: it appears to be the only national television news outlet in America interested in the growing ClimateGate scandal.
ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC through Monday evening have completely ignored the subject.
Simple explanation as to why the MSM have ignored ClimateGate. It hurts Democratic prospects for passing a Cap and Tax bill. Cap and Tax, Universal Healthcare and the Wars were Obama and the Democrats major platforms over the last election. With the Wars not going as the Liberals had hoped and Healthcare not going well, to put it lightly, all they have left is Climate Change legislation. Reid has said that he will hold off on the Senate version until next spring, when it will actually get warmer. If ClimateGate gets traction, that bill is dead and down goes 2 of the 3 main Democratic platforms before the mid-terms.

As and aside; you know Obama is in trouble when celebrities come out against him.

Barack Obama does not have Angelina Jolie’s seal of approval.

“She hates him,” a source close to the U.N. goodwill ambassador, 34, tells the new issue of Us Weekly (on newsstands now).

“Angie isn’t Republican, but she thinks Obama is all smoke and mirrors,” the source says.

Angie IS perfect now! ha ha






Sunday, November 22, 2009

Credibility Meltdown

I loved that title, so I lifted it from Mises.org. Sorry bout that.

This has been and exciting week for anyone that is skeptical of the "consensus" on Global Warming. A hacker or someone from the inside out to get someone, posted emails, documents, and other sundries from the Climate Research Unit (CRU)'s webmail server. There is even a search engine for you to enjoy. I won't blame anyone in the US for not knowing about it, the only US MSM outlet that I know to do a story about it was Washington Post. Leave it to the Brits to call out the MSM for their shoddy reporting on what can be described as one of the greatest scandal for science in the last 100 years.

Skeptics have wanted to see the data for years. If AGW is the threat that the alarmist have been saying, then the data should speak for itself. Only then, can we all agree on a course of action to take. Much to the chagrin to the alarmist side of the debate, there is no "consensus." The debate is far from "over." These series of email show how some reportedly "reputable" scientists have been doing not so scientific things to the data. They have been hiding data, messaging data, threatening journals not to publish contrarian views and much much more. Here are some of the highlights:
  • From Michael E. Mann (withholding of information / data):
Dear Phil and Gabi,I’ve attached a cleaned-up and commented version of the matlab code that I wrote for doing the Mann and Jones (2003) composites. I did this knowing that Phil and I are likely to have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots in the near future, so best to clean up the code and provide to some of my close colleagues in case they want to test it, etc. Please feel free to use this code for your own internal purposes, but don’t pass it along where it may get into the hands of the wrong people.
  • From Nick McKay (modifying data):
The Korttajarvi record was oriented in the reconstruction in the way that McIntyre said. I took a look at the original reference – the temperature proxy we looked at is x-ray density, which the author interprets to be inversely related to temperature. We had higher values as warmer in the reconstruction, so it looks to me like we got it wrong, unless we decided to reinterpret the record which I don’t remember. Darrell, does this sound right to you?
  • From Kevin Trenberth (failure of computer models):
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
  • From Michael Mann (truth doesn't matter):
Perhaps we'll do a simple update to the Yamal post, e.g. linking Keith/s new page--Gavin t? As to the issues of robustness, particularly w.r.t. inclusion of the Yamal series, we actually emphasized that (including the Osborn and Briffa '06 sensitivity test) in our original post! As we all know, this isn't about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations.
  • From Phil Jones (withholding of data):
The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here! ... The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick. Leave it to you to delete as appropriate! Cheers Phil
PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!
  • From Phil Jones (fudging the data to fit the model)
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
  • From Michael E. Mann (using a website to control the message, hide dissent):
Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC [RealClimate.org - A supposed neutral climate change website] Rein any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

What does this all mean? Well for one, this means that, as said above, the debate is far from "over." Anyone that used that excuse in the first place, has no notion of what science really is. Science is not about fudging the data. Science is not about withholding data. Science is not about disregarding the data if it doesn't fit the model.

Science is above all else about skepticism. Skepticism is the core of scientific progress. It's about rejecting the consensus view and looking for new answers to old questions and in the process coming up with new questions that need answering. The word skeptic comes from the Latin; 1) to analyze 2) to think through thoughtfully. That's what science is!

This scandal also means that science is not above the political. Hiding, evading and trying to control the message are all elements of the political, not the scientific realm. The AGW skeptics have been trying to show how politicized the debate has become for years. The emails, going back to 2000, show how Jones has been trying to control the message and stifle debate. It can't be stressed enough, that is not science. While Jones and the rest at Hadley have PHds, what they did crosses a very fine line. One could say they should take an ethics class, but just as in the political realm, ethics is very subjective. Even Jones' response seems like a political response, "it was taken out of context." How many times have we heard a politician say the exact same thing.

The AGW alarmist crowd is in full CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode as can be seen at realclimate.org. The cries of how it's "just interoffice emails so please don't pay attention" might reassure some, but it smells of a con job to me. There are emails talking about deleting data that might come under a British FOIA request, that doesn't seem to strike me as just "run of the mill" interoffice mail. Sorry alarmists, your going to have to come up with better. Now I fully admit some of the emails might actually be "out of context." We only have a small sample and the only way to put everything in the proper context would be to release everything; emails, memos, data, reports...everything to the public. Ha, I'll be holding my breath for that one.

While most of the skeptic crowd is jumping on the band wagon, I think people are missing how this fundamentally destroys the reputation of that data we have and are going to use in the future. (Sorry alarmist, but even Jones said the emails were authentic.) The James Hansen affair already shook my confidence in the GISS data. No matter how much NASA might say that the current data is the "true" measure, my confidence in their credibility is gone. Indeed the credibility of all the data is now suspect in my eyes. Once you have "reputable" scientists talking about hiding and deleting data, no amount of spin is going to make me forget that sin.

Crediblity has been lost. I'm afriad of what that might do to some. I'm sure there are a lot of laymen that feel that science is the be all and end all of reason. That science and scientists are above the political and the petty partisanship. In essence, you can question politicians, but the scientists are usually always right, so trust them when they are talking about something; a very romanticiszed veiw of science. Now that romanticizm is crushed. Scientists are now mere mortals and are nto above regular human falibilities. They have been shown to manipulate data to serve their own ends. I'm afriad there might be a backlash against science. Once it is shown that a small group of a whole that is in a position of trust is corupt, then people tend to veiw the whole group as corupt. We do it all the time with politicians, clergy, media; I do it myself. It's a very human emotional response, the whole fool me once...fool me twice cliche. Are the once faithful going to rebel? Are they going to dig in against all evidence contrary to try and save face? I don't know. All I know is that the CRU has betrayed the public trust and hopefully people will be more skeptical in the future.

Update: To add some more thoughts on the Denial of ClimateGate by the Left here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Comments

Here is my comment to Angus over at the Kids Prefer Cheese blog.

Wasn't the who cares argument also used by Lehman, Bear etc when they were looking at risk?
"Who cares if housing prices go down 50%, we are making a lot of money now!!"
I think your failing into that trap Angus.
Where's Admiral Akbar when you need him?!?
I care less about economic performance now than I do about econ performance later. Meaning, I want a stronger economy for my kids than what I have. Most of the thinking, which indecently I think is a boomer generational thing, is all about the now and the me.

I say boomer generational thing only because it really started to hit in the 70s and 80s, then as the boomers had kids (Gen X), they too became even more infatuated with the now over the future. Now we have the new generation that hardly ever thinks of the future, because their parents (Gen X) and their grandparents (Boomers) taught them not to.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Guardians of Asgaard



Because I love Amon Amarth!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fed Must Release Reports

The Federal Reserve must release reports on emergency bank loans to Bloomburg under FOIA.
Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska rejected the central bank’s argument that the records aren’t covered by the law because their disclosure would harm borrowers’ competitive positions. The collateral lists “are central to understanding and assessing the government’s response to the most cataclysmic financial crisis in America since the Great Depression,” according to the lawsuit that led to yesterday’s ruling.
Didn't Obama run on the vow to bring transparency to Government?

“When an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars were lent to financial institutions in unprecedented ways and the Federal Reserve refused to make public any of the details of its extraordinary lending, Bloomberg News asked the court why U.S. citizens don’t have the right to know,” said Mathew Winkler , the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News. “We’re gratified the court is defending the public’s right to know what is being done in the public interest.”

‘Involuntary Investor’

Bloomberg said in the suit U.S. taxpayers need to know the risks behind the central bank’s $2 trillion in lending because the public is an “involuntary investor” in the nation’s banks.

I love that word "Involuntary Investor." It's a nice euphemism for what Socialist and Fascist Governments do with the peoples money.
We are also involuntary investors to:
1. GM
2. Chrysler
3. AIG
4. Goldman Sachs
5. SEIU...
The list could go on and on. All we need to do is look at the TARP to see who we are involuntary investing in.

Oh and don't forget to mention that we are paying interest to banks holding Fed reserve notes. What will this do? Well I'm not an expert but from my readings it would suggest that; given that banks are holding the reserves, and the whole point of issuing the massive amount of reserves was to avoid Great Depression low levels of liquidity, that paying interest is counterproductive. Why would a bank want to make risky loans, when they can just sit on the money and collect directly from the Fed?
I think it's because someone at the Fed realizes the among of liquidity out there right now. They know that once confidence comes that amount of money will lead to high rates on inflation. Then again I might be giving the Fed to much credit.
Somewhere along 2008, we stopped being a capitalistic country and moved to corporate welfare state aka Fascism.
All those Liberals were right, Bush was a fascist all along. Then again so is Obama. Thor help us.

RIP Kopechne....and Kennedy

I'm not one to get sad for a celebrity dying. I really could care less most of the time, if not all the time. I get accused of being heartless, but then I ask them why they aren't sad for the nearly four children die every day as a result of child abuse or neglect? Or the one million child deaths that could have been prevented annually at a cost of $US 1 billion per year. Why did we give $3 billion to CARS again?

One thing about Kennedy's death that isn't getting much coverage is the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Yes I know she is getting mentioned in passing but what 2 whole minutes out of maybe 3 hours worth of news coverage? Give me a break.
Mary Jo Kopechne (July 26, 1940 – July 18, 1969) was an American school teacher, secretary and political campaign specialist who died in a car accident on Chappaquiddick Island while being driven by US Senator Ted Kennedy.

Kopechne left the party at 11:15 p.m. with Robert's brother Ted Kennedy , after he — according to his own account — offered to drive her to catch the last ferry back to Edgartown , where she was staying. Kennedy stated he made a wrong turn on the way and came upon a narrow, unlit bridge without guardrails. Kennedy drove the 1967 Olds off the bridge and it overturned in the water. Kennedy extricated himself from the submerged car but Kopechne died, after what Kennedy said were several diving attempts to free her.

Kennedy contacted several aides that night, but failed to report the incident to the authorities until the car and Kopechne's body were discovered the next morning. Kopechne's parents said that they learned of their daughter's death from Ted Kennedy himself before he reported his involvement to the authorities, but that they learned Kennedy had been the driver only from wire press releases some time later.
Iowahawk made references to it in a HealthCare satire a few months ago. You can read it here. Iowahawk's post bring me to horror, not for his satire but for what he is alluding to, Liberals will use Kennedy's death to pass Obamacare. It's already happening.
Here is what I wrote on a Cafehayek thread.

I'm more afraid of him in death than I am when he was still alive.
I had mentioned to a friend that I had hoped he would live a nice long life for many years to come, if nothing more than to stop the liberals from reframing the Health Care Debate into a Memorial for the Liberal Lion. It seems from one of the headlines on WSJ, that that is exactly how Pelosi, Reid and Obama will frame the debate now.

I think he did some good things and some crappy ones. Samgrove's point is particularly important to note. Ted never once had to deal with the Forgotten Man's reality. I'm speaking of William Graham Sumner's Forgotten Man.

I also think that if Obamacare is passed as a memorial for Kennedy, then Kennedy's enduring legacy will be of America finally jumping the shark and going down the Road to Serfdom. I'm sure that's not what Kennedy intended but we all know the law of unintended consequences.

Update: Google Trends for today as of 1439 8/26/09
1. tropical storm danny
2. hurricane danny
3. mary jo kopechne
4. chappaquiddick incident
5. joan kennedy today
6. chappaquiddick ted kennedy

At least people aren't forgetting Mary Jo.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Intro to Macroeconomics

I'm not an economist. I'm learning and I admit that I don't know everything. Who's smarter the man that admits ignorance or the man flaunting his superior intellect?

Anyway, in my Macro class that we (My wife and I) taking right now, we are learning the "glories" of Keynesianism. Now to be sure, I don't like Keynesian macro theory in at least how it is applied. It is my believe that Keynesian polices are partially responsible for the current recession and housing bubble. The other half being the Federal Reserve. One thing that strikes me about Keynesian theory is it's "Socialist-lite" influences. Keynes openly touts the need to "smart people" to fix the messes that the "market creates." I believe as do most Austrian and Free Market economists and minded people, that the Government creates "market failures" by interfering with market processes.
Take the Housing bubble, more and more economists (except the Krugmanites) are coming to the realization that Fed funds rates, housing tax breaks, and a reinterpretation of lending practices lead to the creation of the housing bubble and the subsequent collapse. Basically the Government created the problem, thanks to Lord Keynes.

Two of the pillars of Keynesian macrotheory is the notion of the paradox of thrift and the multiplier.

The Paradox of thrift is a situation in which; The paradox states that if everyone tries to save more money during times of recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population because of the decrease in consumption and economic growth. The paradox is, narrowly speaking, that total savings may fall even when individual savings attempt to rise, and, broadly speaking, that increases in savings may be harmful to an economy.

Krugman lives by the Paradox. Which only makes me wonder if it hold true or if it can only hold assuming people don't act like people and only act like wild animals, running into fire type of behaviors. Bob Murphy does a pretty good job at discrediting the notion of the paradox of thrift.

Keynes wants everyone to spend. That's it. Always spend and never save. According to Keynes, savings leads to the road of ruin. My macro teacher says this in his lecture notes.
Deficits stimulate, surpluses restrain. Use each accordingly.
How can this be? Well because of the multiplier of course. The multiplier is a nice little term thrown around by Keynesian that somehow "prove" Government spending is so great.
In a Y = C + I + G + NX system, where Y is income or GDP, C is consumption or spending, I is investment or saving, G is government spending and NX is net exports, Keynesian's assumes that if GDP or Y goes down, it "has" to be because of falling spending. The only answer of course is more G. Later on they will talk about how G gets it's money.
The multiplier is m, where; change in income is equal to m times the change in spending. Seems appropriate, but only helps the Keynesian case if the multiplier is greater than 1. If m is less then 1, then any increase in government spending wastes money. If m is less than 1 lets say 0.80, then for every one dollar the Government takes away via taxes, only 80 cents of that dollar will be spent. The other 20 cents is wasted in due to Government inefficiencies. If on the other hand, m is greater than 1, then income will magically appear from the heavens, all thanks to the wonders of Government know how. To think, people called supply side economics, voodoo economics. Keynesian is more pixies dust and unicorn horns than anything else.
So what is the multiplier term? Is it greater than 1 or less then 1? My macro teacher says a good rule of thumb is 2.5. Of course we have to trust him right? No not really, I did some digging around the glorious internets and found an article by Robert Barro. Barro writes that the multiplier is closer to zero. If that is the case, which to me is more plausible, then for every dollar the Government takes away is burned. We get nothing from it except a bloated bureaucracy.
Digging around some more I found an IMF report which say the average fiscal multiplier for the past 43 recessions is more likely around -1.5. Yet they hedge by taking out any outliers + - 5 so that it is only "marginally negative."
It certainly makes the case that multipliers don't really work the way Keynes wanted them to. It certainly makes the case against Government spending stronger.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Health Care Ignorance

We are all ignorant to a certain degree. Even the so called experts don't know all the relevant information, since it is too vast for anyone person to have a full grasp of every concept and nuance.
That being said, we can do something about our level of ignorance. The old anecdote that knowledge is power is almost always true.
I found this site about health care economics. Maybe we can learn something.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cash for Clunkers

Hopefully by now everyone has heard of the Cash for Clunker debacle. It is a Government program designed to stimulate the car manufacturers as well as "help" curb greenhouse gas emission from older model cars. This of course is a clear case of Bootleggers and Baptists phenomenon:
Supplement to the Economic theory of regulation by Yandle: Bootleggers and Baptists. Baptists lobby legislatures to shut down liquor stores on Sunday, but demand for alcohol doesn't go away and is satisfied by bootleggers. Bootleggers earn a living satisfying this demand! Upshot is that government regulation works out in complicated ways.
In Cash for Clunkers, the Bootleggers (the ones making the money) are the car manufacturers, where the Baptists are the "Greenies." The deal was that people would scrap their "older" cars for newer ones that were more fuel efficient ones. It's supposed to be a win-win for everyone, if everyone includes only the Green Lobby and the Car makers. Everyone else, the taxpayers, gets the shaft. It was hugely popular, for obvious reasons, it made a car that might have been worth $500 dollars, now worth up to $4500. The program was supposed to last until November 1st, but unfortunately it already ran out of money.
It was unclear how many cars had been sold under the program on Friday, but the number was far higher than anyone had expected. About 40,000 vehicle sales were done through the program but dealers estimated they were trying to complete transactions on an additional 200,000 vehicles, said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
This is a clear case of the Government not knowing the consequences of their actions. They should have known that they were going to cause a artificial mini boom. Then of course these are the same politicians and officials that didn't have a clue they were creating an artificial boom in housing. So really this is par for the course. It begs the question, why do people think government run health care is a good thing? That is for a different post though.

Going back to the Bootlegger model, lets look at the car companies. It's not hard to see why they wouldn't love this idea. They would be selling more cars without having to cut their own sales prices. The $4500 is being paid for by the taxpayer, so anyone reading this is helping pay for someone else's brand new car! I bet you didn't know you were so generous or that you had all that extra money to help your fellow man out! Well I really can't say everyone is paying since 43.4% of Americans pay zero or negative taxes.
Now to be fair there are a lot of dealerships that are offering other incentives to help move cars but the problem here is that you have to ask why no one was buying the cars in the first place? Could it be that people don't want to shell out money of big ticket items in a time of still rising unemployment? Now of course that can't be it.

Now looking at the Baptists here, the Greenies. There argument is that these older cars wer putting more GHG in the air that will lead to catastrophic global warming that will destroy everything! I don't believe it. This is an excellent book which should spark the death knell for the AGW alarmists; Heaven and Earth, Global Warming, the Missing Science.

One of the things not really considered here are the poor. It will be interesting when all this is said and done, to see the statistics and what income levels were able to buy these newer cars. I don't think it takes a Ph.D to see that only the well off will be able to afford the new cars, while at the same time, destroying older model and usually cheaper cars will not be available for lower income folks. One of the unintended consequences of this will be, a shortage of "affordable" cars for the poor. Which is probably what some want to happen all along. That will give them a reason to "help" the poor afford cars, much in the same way as they did for housing.

Can ayone say Boom/Bust?

UPDATE: Added a comment made over at CafeHayek.

C4C is a broken window fallacy.

It's a perfect example of law of unintended consequences and the ineptness of Government all rolled into one bill.

Partial list of unintended consequences:
1. The poor will be worse off since there will be fewer lower prices, perfectly usable cars on the market.
2. Short term boost in auto sales for dealerships, all this does is reduce inventory, by offering incentives to buy but does nothing about the long run outlook for the auto manufacturing companies. The underlining problem is why there was so much pent up inventory? That's something government fiat cannot fix.
3. From number 1, we will see a "crisis" in "affordable" cars for the poor, looks for another government program to help elevate that, which will cost even more tax dollars.
4. From number 2, the auto companies will see this short term boost as a sign of consumer confidence and long term expectations. They will boost production, but quantity demanded hasn't changed. If anything quantity demanded will go down in the long run because of this program. The Auto companies will loose money in the long run because of C4C and will require government intervention, which thanks to all those campaign donations, they'll receive able tax money to pay for their foolish investments.

This is a layperson view with an Austrian twist. I am no economist and haven't even finish Intro to Macro yet...which probably is the reason why I see this so clearly. My head isn't filled with Keynesian mumbo jumbo yet so my ability to reason hasn't been dulled.

This is just another piece of evidence as to why Keynesianism is a worthless theory and needs to be scrapped. I'm convinced if and when we get out of this mess, in 2 hundred years when they look back at the 20th century, the top 5 most "evil" people from the 20th will be; Hilter, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, and Lord Keynes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Still Center Right Country

You might have heard from the chattering class that the election of Obama marks a shift in the country wide political spectrum. I disagree. Here is some proof.
1. Culture of Corruption Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies
3. Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine
7. Liberty and Tyranny Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative ManifestoCatastrophe Catastrophe
20. Heaven and Earth Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science

Not a scientific survey I know, but probably more accurate than any phone survey. People are putting their money where there mouth is....
It's interesting to note that all those books are on the rise.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good new everyone...the Stimulus wasn't meant to "Stimulate."

Turns out the $787 billion “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (AARA) was not designed for full economic recovery, but rather to “stabilize” the downturn. That’s the word from White House officials today, who held off-camera briefings with reporters on how the AARA is working so far.

“This legislation was designed to cushion the downturn,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. “That’s why we have always talked about this as one function of economic recovery.”

When pressed about the change in terminology, Gibbs said he was not trying to temper expectations after the fact. “I can probably find 15 or 20 occasions when I said this in the lead up,” Gibbs said, explaining that he had always defined the AARA as part of a “multi-legged stool.”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

If we don't pass Cap and Trade we will all DIE!!!

Meanwhile Canada issues a frost warning...in JULY!!!!

Environment Canada has issued a frost risk warning in low-lying areas of the province for Wednesday night. The temperature is expected to dip to 4 C.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bootleggers and Baptists - FDA and Waxman

Via Econlog:
To save money for consumers, Waxman is willing to allow certain drugs, called biologic drugs, to enter the market without clinical testing that proves their efficacy. He realizes that requiring clinical testing for efficacy will slow things down and needlessly keep important drugs out of the hands of suffering patients.

Sound nice, but you know Waxman has some other motive.

Bruce Yandle of Clemson University has a theory called Bootleggers and Baptists. You can read and hear him talk about it at Econtalk.
Simply put, it goes that government regulations usually are lobbied by two different groups with two different motivations.
The baptists are the moralists. They do what they do with the air of moral high ground. Yandle uses the metaphor of Baptists trying to ban liquor sales on Sunday. The Baptists faith in the Bible and the belief that alcohol is evil, feel that they are doing society a favour.
The bootleggers are the exploiters. They do what they do because there is money to be made. The bootleggers lobby for the Sunday liquor ban because they can then sell liquor on Sundays via Black Market.
Politics make strange befellows.
Anyway back to Waxman. So my question is who are the bootleggers here?

It's obvious, at least to me, that the Baptists are they ones wanting lower cost drugs, which no FDA testing will surely do. Yet, we all know, no politician will do anything altruistic without a money man greasing his wheels.

So who is greasing Waxman's wheels?

I'm lazy right now, but does anyone know where you can get the info to see which Pharm companies have a new "biologic drug" coming out and just gave Waxman a campaign contribution?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Equal Protection

The Supreme Court today decided, 5-4, for the white and Hispanic firefighters in Ricci vs DeStefano today saying that they were unfairly denied promotions because of their race. The split was down the usual lines with Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy going for the plaintiffs.

This is interesting for two reasons.
First it overrules Sotomayors decision which no doubt will be used against her in her confirmation hearings. Remember the Democrats wanted the confirmation hearing to be in mid-July and the GOP wanted it to be later. With Ricci fresh off the docket, I'm sure there will be a sudden and nuanced shift, with Democrats wanting to wait a bit. Not that I can blame them, they touted Sotomayor as a brilliant mind, even if she has said some really stupid things. Public opinion also is against Sotomayor, so expect that angle to be played as well.
A new national poll suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans think white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut where discriminated against when the city tossed out the results of a promotion exam after too few minorities scored high enough on the test.
The other interesting thing about this decision comes from Justice Scalia. In his concurrence opinion, he writes.
I join the Court's opinion in full, but write separately to observe that its resolution of this dispute merely postpones the evil day on which the Court will have to confront the question: Whether, or to what extent, are the disparate-impact provisions of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 consistent with the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection? The question is not an easy one.
The difficulty is this: Whether or not Title VII's disparate-treatment provisions forbid "remedial" race-based actions when a disparate-impact violation would not otherwise result- the question resolved by the Court today- it is clear that Title VII not only permits but affirmatively requires such actions when a disparate-impact violation would otherwise result. But if the Federal Government is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, then surely it is also prohibited from enacting laws mandating that third parties - e.g., employers, whether private, State, or municipal - discriminate on the basis of race. As the facts of these cases illustrate, Title VII's disparate-impact provisions place a racial thumb on the scales, often requiring employers to evaluate the racial outcomes of their policies, and to make decisions based on (because of) those racial outcomes. That type of racial decision making is, as the Court explains, discriminatory.
So when will racial discrimination end? Obviously it is still going on in the workplace. It's going on in the Universities.
Beginning in 2012, UC will no longer automatically admit the top 12.5% of all students based on statewide performance, and will no longer rely so heavily on grades and test scores. Instead, the eligibility pool will be expanded by a projected 40% by eliminating the requirement for applicants to take the SAT subject matter tests. The net effect of these changes is that academic achievement will be less significant and UC admissions administrators will have the "flexibility" to discriminate against those "dull" Asians who "study, study, study" all the time without violating Proposition 209.
What is wrong with these people? What is obvious to most is that all of this is being done in the name of "Diversity."
When will we live in a world when the color of ones skin is no longer a factor in hiring or admissions. Discrimination in any name, no matter the motive is wrong. It's wrong to deny a white the opportunity for advancement, it's wrong to deny a Hispanic the opportunity for advancement, and it's wrong to deny a black the same opportunities.
There is a big difference in equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes. They are not the same. Giving everyone the same opportunities is what this country was founded on. Some will succeed and some will fail. The outcome is wholly dependant on the person, not society.
Using the equality of outcomes logic, the State and individuals will continue to use racial discrimination as a factor in everything. They will still rely on the quota system or in Ricci's case, use the threat of litigation as a factor in their hiring. The problem as SCOTUS decision puts clearly, the treat of litigation is not justification for any sort of racial discrimination (2.c.i)
In my talks with supporters of Affirmative Action, they usually base their argument on the equality of outcomes logic. They usually say that it is still needed. The obvious question to ask is until when? When will it not be needed? Five years ago, I had the same conversation and they said, "When we have a Black President." Well, now we do. So it's time to end it.
Sooner or later a case will make it to the Supreme Court challenging race based quotas and we will have to finally choose for the full implementation of Equal protection. Anything that places a "racial thumb" on the scales of justice is wrong morally, and ethically.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Score One for Single Payer.

A critically-ill premature-born baby from Hamilton is all alone in a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital after she was turned away for treatment at local facility and transferred across the border without her parents, who don't have passports.
A provincewide search for an open neonatal intensive care unit bed came up empty, leaving no choice but to send the two pound, four ounce baby to Buffalo.
I still can't quite grasp, how some people think this is a good thing. Why do people think a Single Payer system, will be efficient? Hello, look at Medicare, Medicaid and Walter Reed, is that the kind of health care they want?

H/T: HotAir

Here are some of the wait times associated with Pediatric Medical services in Ontario.

Provincial Paediatric Wait Times Analysis by Subspecialty


5 out of 10 Patients
Treated Within (Days)
9 out of 10 Patients
Treated Within (Days)
Volumes

May 2009 May 2009 May 2009
All Services 59 195 1155




Cardiovascular Surgery 37 171 52
General Surgery 33 88 171
Gynecology 39 74 10
Neurosurgery 20 77 35
Ophthalmology 55 146 85
Dental/Oral Surgery 102 356 159
Orthopedic Surgery 79 207 109
Otolaryngology 64 252 262
Plastic Surgery 52 169 130
Urology 62 170 142

Friday, June 26, 2009

That Bigot Perez Hilton

I really don't like Perez Hilton. So I really hate writing this, but the hypocrisy is just too great.

Remember way back when, when Hilton asked Carrie Prejean about her views on Gay Marriage?
I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised.
Then came Hilton's vBlog tirade, calling her all sorts of vile sexist names. All of which he pretty much got a pass for in the MSM.

Now Hilton is in the news again, hopefully not for long, over an incident with the Black Eyed Peas in Toronto. Apparently, Will.I.Am asked Hilton to not write anything about his band anymore. In response, Hilton called Will.I.Am a Fag.

Is it okay for a gay man to use homophobic rhetoric against straight man?

One level of hypocrisy, is how the MSM treated Prejean's statement, which is the same stance our Deal Leader has and how they treated Hilton's openly hateful language against another man.
The silence from the gay rights groups is deafening.
The other hypocrisy is of course Hilton's own personal hypocrisy. His whole reasoning for his vBlog tirade against Prejean was that he was upset with HOW she answered the question. Which is why I quoted it. I don't see any hateful remarks against gays in that statement. If what Prejean said was hate, then Obama, Hillary Clinton, and a whole slew of politicians in Washington are full of hate. Of course we can't criticize our Dear Leader like that now can we. That's a whole different subject.

Needless to say, Hilton was "forced" to issue an apology. I say "forced," because it seems to me that he did it to try and save his "brand." His brand for me is dead. I never really cared at all about anything he did, I find his "How Gay was that?" segment on VH-1's remember the Millenium to be the dumbest thing on the show, even dumber than Moby's segment.
Hilton in an offer of good faith or just self-promoting, take your pick, said he would give the proceeds of his lawsuit against the Black Eyed Peas to the Mathew Shepard Foundation. Which they replied.
We do not know the details of the lawsuit, whether it has been filed, the nature of his claims or the likely outcome. But because the lawsuit presumably involves the physical attack prompted by Mr. Hilton's admitted use of an anti-gay slur, the Foundation will be unable to accept any funds obtained in such a manner.
At least there are some gay rights groups out there with some core principles. Equal rights doesn't mean some groups are more "equal" than others.

H/T Hotair.com for the gawker link.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Creating Jobs?

How many jobs are being lost thanks to Barry and his hypocritical no smoking law?

Tampa will lose part of its cigar heritage in August when Hav-A-Tampa shuts its factory near Seffner and lays off about 495 employees, closing a factory that has been operating since 1902.

Work that had been done in Tampa will now be performed in an Altadis plant in Puerto Rico, where it has extra manufacturing capacity, McKenzie said.

However, the company attributed much of its trouble to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, a federal program that provides health insurance to low-income children. It is funded, in part, by a new federal tax on cigars and cigarettes. McKenzie couldn't say how much sales of Hav-A-Tampa cigars had fallen off, but the numbers have dropped significantly, he said.

Previously, federal excise taxes on cigars were limited to no more than a nickel, said Norman Sharp, president of the Cigar Association of America trade group. The tax increase, which took effect April 1, raises the maximum tax on cigars to about 40 cents, Sharp said.

Instead of Barry's nefarious "Create or sustain" jobs notion, we need a number to the number of jobs Barry and this Congress have destroyed or shipped overseas to where taxes are lower?


H/T Mises

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Biden was right for once.

Thank goodness, the Dems put their head in the sand when Biden, in a moment of honesty and candor, told everyone that in 6 months there would be a testing for Obama.

  • Iran in ruins
  • British pissed off about Uighers
  • N. Korea talking about nuclear war
  • Economy in shambles with inflation on the rise
  • and China thinking about unloading their US Treasuries....

Which crisis did Biden think was coming?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Palin plagerizes Gingrich?

According to Huffington Post she did. Then again, liberals never plagiarize right?

Ha ha actually Palin cited Gingrich twice throughout her speech. So if citing the source still counts as plagerism...there are a lot of college grads out there that need to give back their degrees.

Conservatives4Palin.com has the 411.

Of course plagerism is something Obama and Biden would never do.

Ha if you believe that, I got a bridge to sell you.

This just highlights the point that liberals are scared to death of the Sarahcuda.

I am behing her 100% and hope to hell she runs in 4 years. That's change we can believe in.

Friday, June 5, 2009

When Liberals attack...who ya gonna call?

It's a funny thing when liberals turn on one of their own. The outcast is usually shunned like a leper and immediately the object of attack. Anyone who dared oppose Obama this last election saw it.
Newsbusters has an interested story today of a liberal writer who was fired from AOL for reporting a story about Playboy and misogyny.
AOL News has been bending over backwards lately to make sure that the do not cover the controversy surrounding Playboy.com writer Guy Cimbalo's vile attack on conservative women. AOL News has taken some drastic steps to censor any mention, let alone criticism, of Playboy's screed. They have deleted posts about the article, banned contributors from mentioning it, and even fired one of their liberal writers over it.
The evidence is stacking up quite high that AOL News fired liberal writer Tommy Christopher today due to his repeated attempts to get coverage of the Playboy attack list on AOL's Politics Daily. Christopher had first attempted to post this criticism of Playboy's sick list the day it was published on their website. However, he was surprised to find that shortly after putting his article on Politics Daily it was deleted by an editor.
Now deleting posts from a website, called scrubbing, is common practice in today's media. Obama used the technique quite frequently during the campaign.
What's interesting is that the people that are defending Tommy Christopher are the people he'd normally attacking, conservatives and twitter. You can read his own website for more info.

Exit question: Why is it okay for liberals to hate women and want to rape them?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Long Dead Economist

That economist is Keynes.
Keynes is dead and hopefully too will his General Theory, soon.

I'm not a big fan of Keynes. I think his theories have given politicians a carte blanc to spend spend spend, with no fear of ever paying the bill. With over a trillion dollar deficits this year and rising budget deficits for years to come, all based on a theory of a long dead economist. Maybe we should be looking to see if any of his theories proved to be right?

That is a topic for another day but I found this article to be good. Mainly because I really don't like Paul Krugman.

No doubt there are powerful deflationary headwinds blowing in the other direction today. There is surplus capacity in world manufacturing. But the price of key commodities has surged since February. Monetary expansion in the US, where M2 is growing at an annual rate of 9 per cent, well above its post-1960 average, seems likely to lead to inflation if not this year, then next. In the words of the Chinese central bank’s latest quarterly report: “A policy mistake ... may bring inflation risks to the whole world.”

The policy mistake has already been made – to adopt the fiscal policy of a world war to fight a recession. In the absence of credible commitments to end the chronic US structural deficit, there will be further upward pressure on interest rates, despite the glut of global savings. It was Keynes who noted that “even the most practical man of affairs is usually in the thrall of the ideas of some long-dead economist”. Today the long-dead economist is Keynes, and it is professors of economics, not practical men, who are in thrall to his ideas.

Liberals turning on Obama?

President Obama is just killing the progressive movement.

This is from Dana Milbank, a regular on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
Maybe this is a sign that the kool aid scales are starting to fall from liberals eyes?

I doubt it by reading the comment to Milbank's piece.
He does make a good observation, liberals had so much fun being the opposition, they aren't really enthused by being a defender instead of the instigator. You know it's not fun to protest when you don't have much to protest about.

Reminding the audience of the group's more muscular days, Borosage played a tape of Obama speeches at the 2006 and 2007 Take Back America conferences. Over rock music, one clip had him saying: "It's going to be because of you that we take our country back."

That was from June 2007, before Obama took back America -- and took away the progressives' rallying cry.


Is it still fun to be anti-war, when the President from your own party is escalating the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
You know trivial stuff like that.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Even More LIberal Hypocricy

Democrats are at it again...proclaiming tactics that they once used, but now they are race baiting.
Jesse Jackson knows race-baiting well. He's been using it his whole adult life to make lots and lots of money. Enough money to try and buy his son a Senate Seat perhaps?
But the assault on Sotomayor isn't about her skills as a jurist. This is classic race-based politics from the Republican right. Our real problems are too great for us to fall back into this. The slurs reveal a lot more about those who are spreading them...
Perhaps Mr. Jackson will listen to his own last sentence and look himself in the mirror.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Smoot-Hawley?

Remember that "Buy American" provision in the $787 Billion Stimulus Package?
It inserted "shall be applied in a manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements," to help appease our trading partners and rightfully so.
The most basic fact about trade is that it's a two way street.
You buy my goods, pay me in your currency and I buy your goods that you pay with my currency. Simple enough even Congress sometimes figures it out.

Apparently though, local municipalities and state governments read "international trade agreements" like Congress reads the Bills it passes.

Ordered by Congress to “buy American” when spending money from the $787 billion stimulus package, the town of Peru, Ind., stunned its Canadian supplier by rejecting sewage pumps made outside of Toronto. After a Navy official spotted Canadian pipe fittings in a construction project at Camp Pendleton, Calif., they were hauled out of the ground and replaced with American versions. In recent weeks, other Canadian manufacturers doing business with U.S. state and local governments say they have been besieged with requests to sign affidavits pledging that they will only supply materials made in the USA.

Outrage spread in Canada, with the Toronto Star last week bemoaning “a plague of protectionist measures in the U.S.” and Canadian companies openly fretting about having to shift jobs to the United States to meet made-in-the-USA requirements. This week, the Canadians fired back. A number of Ontario towns, with a collective population of nearly 500,000, retaliated with measures effectively barring U.S. companies from their municipal contracts — the first shot in a larger campaign that could shut U.S. companies out of billions of dollars worth of Canadian projects.

You know what that means....those Canadian's are not buy our goods. Which means, our goods are not going to get sold, which means a cut in productions which means a cut in employment.
Economists know it, that's why they opposed the "Buy American" provisions in the first place.
Second, the notion that even an effective W.T.O.-consistency qualifier in our procurements will soothe other nations and prevent trade retaliations and trade wars is na├»ve. Contrary to what others believe, countries like Brazil, China and India, which have not signed the W.T.O.’s 1995 agreement on governmental procurement and, therefore, do not enjoy those rights to our procurement purchases, will retaliate. They can raise many current tariffs also in a “W.T.O.-consistent” way. (Remember that China and India have large public sectors.) They can easily shift their purchases of aircraft, nuclear reactors and other high-value goods from us to Europe and Japan. We would then retaliate, prompting retaliations by the others: all in a W.T.O.-consistent fashion. Indeed, President Obama would find himself in a W.T.O.-consistent trade war.
This one from Burton Folsom author of New Deal or Raw Deal?
“Slap a tariff on China and save American jobs,” the protectionists say.

This tempting line of reasoning is flawed for two reasons. First, if Americans pay more for, say, American-made shoes or shirts, then they have less to spend for other things they might need — they are simply subsidizing inefficient local producers. And those American manufacturers, who are protected from foreign competitors, have little incentive to innovate and cut prices.

Second, if we refuse to buy China’s imports, China will refuse to buy our exports, including our first-rate computers and iPods. Our export market collapses. We saw this happen during the The Great Depression when Congress passed, and President Herbert Hoover signed, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930. That tariff, the highest in United States history, foisted high import duties on more than 3,000 foreign items. The Europeans immediately retaliated, and this deepened the Depression throughout the world. When we refused to buy Swiss watches, for example, the Swiss refused to buy American wheat and Chevrolets.

The collapsing export market after 1930 helped to set off a decline in American industry. United States automakers sold more than five million cars and trucks in 1929, but only about 1.8 million in 1933. Other causes (including tax increases under both Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt) also made the Great Depression worse, but the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was a significant reason the Depression was as severe as it was — 25 percent unemployment at its worst.

Free trade benefits buyers and sellers. Tariffs benefit certain sellers at the expense of all buyers.
Unfortunately, those who don't learn from history are doomed....well you know the rest.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dems need to start their 12 steps.

So I don't have much time to post, but I was reading at Liberal Rapture a post today that had this in relation to Obama's Gitmo reversal today.
But here's the worst problem with the reversal - it empowers the right wing:
Liz Cheney Claims Victory In Obama Detainee Photo Reversal
It got me thinking about what's so wrong with admitting that Cheney was right?
Here is what I wrote...
hat really amazes me about this Gitmo thing, is the amount of spinning going on to basically not say....Bush and Cheney were right the whole time and Barry was wrong.

The Democrats have a problem. It's not just Slim. Democrats know how to oppose. They know how to protest the Right and they know how to ridicule (ala Prejean) even if they have the exact same view as the people they ridicule (Prejean/Obama/Clinton...all have the same view on Gay Marriage)
The problem is that when rubber meet the road, the Democrats don't know how to move past the ridicule/oppose your opponent at all costs stage. Gitmo is a great example of this.
They (Dems) want and need to oppose everything Bush and Cheney stood for. They put it in their heads that Bush and Cheney and anything, I repeat anything that they are for, has to be evil.
I mean how can Darth Cheney do anything "good." The Democrats label Republicans as evil in almost religious, making very very hard to admit that sometimes, the GOP can be right. Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer, Daschle and Obama are no better than Bush. I'm sure it would surprise people how much they agree with one another on a lot of issues, the problem is, in public even if Obama and Bush agree on say gay marriage, Obama still has to make Bush out as some sort of evil Monster to appease the base.
Pelosi voted for Iraq and said nothing against the CIA's EITs (essentially approving it) which is the exact same position Bush wanted. Now she either has to admit that the "Village Idoit" fooled her not once, but twice...making her ever dumber than the "Village Idiot" or actually admit to her base, that Bush might have made the best decision he could at a difficult time. Obama is echoing the latter with his reversal. Bush wasn't perfect, far from it. He did a lot of shitting things, but his decision to hold military tribunal is far better than civilian courts, which let the terrorists go free and go back to killing Americans (1 in 10 according to Obama's Pentagon)
Why it's only reported in a British Newspaper could help explain why our newspapers are going out of print? Hmmm I wonder?

Democrats, progressive and liberals need to admit they have a problem. Like any good 12 stepper, if they want to reform the Democratic party, they need to admit that the Democrats in office and democrats in general can be bigots, sexist, hypocrites, anti-gay rights, pretty much everything they say Republicans are. Only then will they be able to reform the party.

One thing I love about LR readers is the comments that sexism is so blatant in today's society and the reason HRC wasn't nominated. Yet no one wants to look at the elephant in the room, that it was the Democrats sexism and the Democrats bigotry that coast HRC the nomination. It was Democratic Party sexism, bigotry, age-ism, racism that helped put Obama in power. Now we reap the consequences of DNC bigotry.
Why did Obama block Cheney's attempt to release 2 CIA memo's that Cheney says prove the EIT's worked?

Obama can and has declassified any memo he wants. He has full authority to wave his fucking hand and let the memo's go public.

It doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with the CIA's EITs...isn't it better to have all the facts on the table? If your morals are such that nothing is worth "Torture." Then what would it hurt to release Cheney's memos?

Obama already has admitted that Cheney was right about Military commissions. I guess letting Cheney be right about 2 things is more than Democrats can handle without their heads exploding.
By saying that he has now concluded that releasing the photos would endanger the troops, Obama is reinforcing the idea that he was originally prepared to do something that would endanger the troops, and only reversed himself after conservatives called him out on it.
There really is more that needs to be said of this. Democrats have built an empire on insults and prejudices that just can't be sustained any longer. The world is too dangerous to keep going on with this pettiness.

There was also a comment on one reason why Carrie Prejean get's her own segment on Countdown for her view on Same Sex Marriage, and Obama doesn't, even though they hold the exact same view on Same Sex Marriage.
Maybe it's sexism? Gee you think?
That ties in with what I was trying to say above. The Democratic Party is full of sexists, racists and bigots. They can't admit it or all their insults about Republicans will finally be correctly viewed as hypocritical.
Eventually, the glass house the Democrats have built will come crashing down.
I just hope it sooner rather than later.



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cap and Trade dead?

Maybe not yet, but it took a serious blow today from and EPA report from the OMB.

An EPA finding last month that greenhouse gases are a danger to public health rests on dubious assumptions and could have negative economic impacts, a memo from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) warned.

The memo has no listed author but is marked “Deliberative–Attorney Client Privilege.” A spokesman for OMB told Dow Jones Newswires that the brief is a “conglomeration of counsel we’ve received from various agencies” about the EPA finding, the conclusions of which would trigger regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The author(s) of the memo suggest the EPA did not thoroughly examine the relationship between greenhouse gases and human health.

“In the absence of a strong statement of the standards being applied in this decision, there is concern that EPA is making a finding based on…’harm’ from substances that have no demonstrated direct health effects,” the memo says, adding that the “scientific data that purports to conclusively establish” that link was from outside EPA.

I repeat, "Negative Economic Impact!"
Skeptics like me have been harping on this for a while now...and this new report comes from Obama's OMB!

We'll just have to see how this unfolds, but I know I'll be using this memo for a while now.

Obama's Don't ask Don't Tell

You know Obama and the rest don't give a damn about Don't Ask Don't Tell. Why should they? They will use it again in 2010 and again in 2012 to keep the gay rights vote. If they were actually going to go through with their promise, they would have done something by now.

They are using gays for votes. So they use Fear.
Just like the throw the "racist" card out there to scare blacks to vote Dem.

It's the oldest political ploy in the book, straight out of ol' Saul Alinsky...it's just funny that people keep falling for it.

I repeat...I'll keep harping on this...Vote all the fuckers out of office
Keep voting them out until they get the message....listen to the people or your ass is out

But...I'm sure there are plenty of gays, blacks, feminists that are too afraid of changing their vote...so the status quo will just go on.

Just like with HRC, if it weren't for the "status quo" politicians (aka Super Delegates), HRC would have won the nomination, and some real change would have occurred...I wouldn't like her health plan for sure...but a real breath of fresh air would have been nice...instead we get the status quo POTUS that is Obama, hence the Bush=Obama.

But partisan prejudice runs too deep...so I don't think we will ever get real change until we are all broke wondering what the hell happened.