Sunday, April 19, 2009

Current Chaos Manor mail

Jerry Pournelle:

"Aside from the fact that amalgamating many inefficient bureaucracies into one multiplies not divides the inefficiencies - efficient government is not an overriding concern of mine - centralizing power to meet a crisis leaves the centralized power available for abuse long after the crisis is forgotten. The chances that a future Democrat administration would disband DHS and repeal Patriot Act were patently zero even at the time. Expand, politicize, and abuse now are the order of the day, and I am not surprised in the least.

Both major parties seem now irredeemably statist."

The sad truth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Devoe’s at Beth’s Wedding


Right to Left:  Me, Mom, cousin Lori, Amy, cousin Cathrine.


Sunday, March 08, 2009

Information Arbitrage


And given the macroeconomic risks posed by the stimulus package, I think it makes sense to spend some time thinking about how all this spending will be paid for. Raising taxes? A bad idea from a policy perspective, as well as a shrinking well from which to tap due to the sharp downturn in our economy. Lower incomes. Smaller corporate profits. Fewer capital gains. All of these point to a sharp reduction in tax revenues, and the tax increases President Obama has in store will nary make a dent, and may well cost more than they generate over time. We could cut spending. One thing we can take away from the annual budget process is that true cuts, net reductions in spending, almost never stick. If this is where we are placing our hope we are living in fantasy-land. So the only other place money can come from is if we manufacture it. Sell Treasuries. Borrow and spend. The Great American Pastime.


Yeah, which is why I believe inflation is coming down the road – maybe a few years out, but coming surely.  big time.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Democrats urge Obama to veto spending bill -


The legislation includes $7.7 billion in earmarks, which are unrelated pet projects that members of Congress insert in spending bills.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, said those who vote in favor of the bill "jeopardize their credibility."

"But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning," Bayh wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial published Wednesday.

"Voters rightly demanded change in November's election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate."

During the election season, Bayh was considered one of the front-runners to be Obama's vice president.

Democrats urge Obama to veto spending bill -

Too bad he didn’t get the nod – i like where his mind’s at.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

George F. Will: FDR's Sweater Fable


The stimulus legislation, a.k.a. No Social Worker Left Behind, offers financial incentives for states to enlarge their welfare rolls. This looks like the beginning of a semi-stealthy repeal of the 1996 welfare reform. So it goes, as government, with a confidence disconnected from its current performance, toils to make more and more people more and more dependent on it.

In one wee particular, congressional Democrats want to shrink government. At the behest of the teachers' unions, the $410 billion omnibus spending bill dooms a $14 million (a rounding error on GM's bailout) scholarship program that enables 1,800 children, mostly low-income and minorities, to escape the District of Columbia's catastrophic public schools. But sinking this lifeboat for the poor serves liberalism's dependency agenda: No poor child left outside the government's education plantation.

Newsweek Voices - George F. Will |

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Paul Kedrosky: First We Kill All the Economists, Part XXIV


Defining away the most prevalent economic problems of modern economies and failing to communicate the limitations and assumptions of its popular models, the economics profession bears some responsibility for the current crisis. It has failed in its duty to society to provide as much insight as possible into the workings of the economy and in providing warnings about the tools it created. It has also been reluctant to emphasize the limitations of its analysis. We believe that the failure to even envisage the current problems of the worldwide financial system and the inability of standard macro and finance models to provide any insight into ongoing events make a strong case for a major reorientation in these areas and a reconsideration of their basic premises

Paul Kedrosky: First We Kill All the Economists, Part XXIV

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Death of the California Dream


Gentry liberalism reflects the narcissistic values of successful boomers and their offspring; their politics are all about them. In the past this was tied as much to cultural issues, like gay rights (itself a noble cause) and public support for the arts. More recently, the dominant issue revolves around environmentalism… Yet in recent years, the green agenda has expanded well beyond that of the old conservationists like Theodore Roosevelt, who battled to preserve wilderness but also cared deeply about boosting productivity and living standards for the working classes… the modern environmental movement often adopts a largely misanthropic view of humans as a "cancer" that needs to be contained. By their very nature, the greens tend to regard growth as an unalloyed evil, gobbling up resources and spewing planet-heating greenhouse gases.

…For such people, the crusade against global warming makes a convenient foil in arguing against anything that might bring industrial or any other kind of middle-wage growth to the state. Greens here often speak movingly about the earth — but also about their personal redemption. They have engaged a legal and regulatory process that provides the wealthy and their progeny an opportunity to act out their desire to "make a difference" — often without real concern for the outcome.

Death of the California Dream |