February 27, 2011
Since deciding not to do something is making a choice with economic repercussions, the government has the authority to regulate it.
The distinction between activity and inactivity is “of little significance,” Judge Kessler writes. “It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not ‘acting’ . . . Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin.”
Whoa. In other words, there is no constitutional principle that limits federal coercion. Any decision that doesn’t conform to what the government thinks you should do is an economic decision and therefore everything is subject to regulation. Though she may not have intended it, Judge Kessler has shown that the real debate is between a government of limited and enumerated powers as understood by the Founders, and a government whose reach includes “mental activity.”
February 27, 2011
. . .as a potential positive side affect of removing Iran’s nuclear program.
Of course, I don’t really buy the Global Warming story to begin with, but it doesn’t hurt to cover one’s bases.
February 24, 2011
“Hard facts utterly contradict Krugman’s claim. First, unions are “Big Money.” Of the top 10 sources of political contributions since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, five are unions. Of the top 20 sources of 2010 campaign funds, 10 are unions.
And the notion that Big Labor is cancelling out Big Business — well, that’s a Big Lie, too. The 10 industries that contributed the most during the 2010 elections — from Wall Street to government unions — all gave more to Democrats than to Republicans.”
February 23, 2011
Between the Middle East and Middle America I haven’t had much time to contemplate the very real possibility of a government shutdown. After reading the above article, I’m thinking it’s not only a possibility, but a likelihood.
It could all be bluster but each side appears to think they will win if, indeed, they force one to occur. Without some sort of braking force that just might be what happens.
Then’ we’ll see who really does win.
February 23, 2011
February 19, 2011
I find the above take interesting:
“There has never been anything like this in American labor history. In the late 1960s and early 1970s there may have been some qualms about giving public workers the right to unionize, but those qualms have turned into animosity. There seems little difference in the approach toward government workers’ unions taken by Governor Walker and his Wisconsin Legislature than there would have been in most states 100 years ago.
Why is Governor Walker attacking the unions and threatening the rights of union members? It’s simply because he can and he benefits by doing so. It resonates with the voters.”
The writer seems incredulous. My take is “well, yeah.” We pay these guys. We’re management. These guys are playing us for suckers. Of course, we’re not sympathetic.
Governor Walker of Wisconsin is aware of the parallel to Reagan, but II don’t recall the piece I read to come to this conclusion.
So, expect Walker to go the distance with this. What Republican wants to let Ronald Reagan down?
February 16, 2011
February 16, 2011
. . . when you know with near 100% confidence that you could do a better job directing national security than the guy who is doing it.
February 14, 2011
February 12, 2011
That is, it’s hard to know what’s going on. Here’s a view skeptical of the story of 3.2% growth in 4th QTR GDP.
This chart shows the yield on 10 year US government bonds. It takes off right around Jan 28, the release date of the GDP growth rate.
This could be because investors think that good times are here again. So, they’re taking their money out of bonds and putting them into stocks. That’s one view. Another might be that they’re taking them out of bonds because they believe the value of bonds will fall due to rising inflation.
Speaking of inflation, take a more detailed look at the GDP figures:
The GDP price deflator used in the GDP calculation was 0.3%. Really? Inflation was only 0.3% for the quarter? Let’s take a look at the CPI, which is calculated in a different manner:
Chart 2 in the BLS release below demonstrates that the ‘core’ CPI increased around 0.75%. The overall index, including food and energy, increased around 1.25%
Okay, first the idea of excluding food and energy from the index is that they are volatile and obscure the truth regarding inflation. But if you look at the chart you’ll see they haven’t been all that volatile over the past year. They have simply been higher. Since most of us eat and like to heat our homes. These are the prices we’re experiencing.
So, how do we reconcile a CPI of 1.25% and a GDP deflator of 0.3%? If the CPI is right I think that knocks a full point off of GDP growth. 2.2% doesn’t sound all that robust.
Which might explain why Gallup is reporting a 10.3% unemployment rate v the 9% the Federal government is reporting.
Perhaps, fears of inflation are overdone or, perhaps, the economy is really growing a lot. You wouldn’t know it from the foreclosures in the United States. What would the CPI be if housing (shelter in the link below) wasn’t growing very slowly? (0.4% over the past year)
You may also note the 3.7% increase in the price of used cars. I’ve read speculation the inflation rate for these sorts of vehicles is high because the “cash for clunkers” program removed from service all sorts of perfectly serviceable vehicles. Speaking of Cash for Clunkers, I have an equally good idea to revive the economy. We’ll randomly destroy the houses of 1 out of 20 of the people who voted for Obama. Then we shall all grow rich rebuilding them.
If that doesn’t work, then I have this great idea to pay people to dig holes, and then pay other people to fill them up. Don’t worry about how we’ll pay for it. There are a lot of people who make over $250k a year.
Lots of numbers here. Like Egypt, you can find just about any story in there you want.