URLs du Jour

2019-02-02

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  • Jonah Goldberg's G-File this week is concerned with Defining & Defending Dogma.

    I need a word for the kinds of words that people think are universal and objective but are used by those same people only selectively and subjectively.

    For example, for years I’ve written about how almost everybody believes in censorship, but they only use the word censorship to describe censorship they don’t like. There are people who genuflect to “Banned Book Week” but also insist that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn should be pulled from libraries because it uses the N-word. But they don’t call that censorship. There are people who are totally for free speech, but if you ask them if it should be legal to broadcast hardcore porn on Saturday morning broadcast TV, they suddenly start replacing the word “censorship” with things like “reasonable regulation” and “community standards.”

    One of my favorites is “hate.” Decrying hate has been a thing for a long time. JFK was visiting what became the “City of Hate” when he went to Dallas (unfortunately for the narrative-mongers, he was killed by a different kind of hater: a Communist). And I’m sure people paid lip-service to hating hate long before that. But the volume really got amped up with the gay-rights movement in the 1980s. Somebody made bank on those “Hate Is Not a Family Value” bumper stickers.

    Another one getting my goat lately is "choice". Occasionally lefty Facebook friends will proudly declare themselves to be "pro choice".

    I swear, the next time I see that, I'm gonna reply: "So I assume you'll be signing onto my campaign to repeal compulsory school attendance laws?"


  • Speaking of "choice", abortion is in the news again, thanks to Democrats who have made it a priority to legalize everything up to (and including?) outright infanticide. At the Federalist, Ben Domenech talks about The Thing We Don't Talk About.

    In Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan poses the question: “Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature—that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions?” And softly, his brother Alyosha answers: No. Today’s Democratic Party says: Yes.

    My email and direct messages were filled yesterday with pro-life Americans – and even moderate pro-choice Americans – rightly distressed by the comments from Ralph Northam, the doctor and supposedly moderate Bill Kristol-backed Democrat who is the governor of Virginia, who yesterday made explicit his views concerning what is nothing less than the murder of born-alive infants.

    We're going to undergo a heavy bombardment from the euphemism cannons, as the Ds scramble to undo the damage done by plain honest talk.


  • At Reason, Peter Suderman notes that Elizabeth Warren's Wealth Tax Is a Stunt Policy That Other Countries Have Tried and Discarded.

    More likely, the rich would find ways to avoid those assessments entirely. Sweden's wealth tax, for example, was frequently blamed for capital flight and a depressed rate of national entrepreneurship. Relative to other European nations, Swedes were less likely to own their own business, and those who did often took their money elsewhere rather than reinvest it at home. The founder of Ikea, for example, moved much of his wealth into offshore foundations that shielded the money from the tax.

    I say it was blamed because a little more than a decade ago, Sweden eliminated its wealth tax. The move was easy to make, because the government lost essentially no revenue. As The Financial Times reported, the elimination of the tax had "virtually no effect of government finances." So much for making the rich pay their share.

    Nor is Sweden an outlier in its decision to nix a tax on wealth. European countries that have imposed wealth taxes have largely given up on them; of the dozen OECD nations that had wealth taxes in 1990, just four still have the tax on the books. Warren wants the U.S. to adopt an idea that has been tried and discarded.

    It's a bad idea for other reasons as well, but that's not the point. The purpose of the proposal is solely to get her elected.


  • At the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, Drew Cline looks at: A costly and unnecessary paid leave plan.

    Senate Democrats unveiled their paid family and medical leave bill this week, and the big question was: Why? 

    The reasons given — that it will be a job recruitment tool and a family benefit — were hardly enough to justify its cost. 

    The bill’s fiscal note predicts that the mandatory 0.5 percent tax would raise $156.6 million a year from private employers. That would make it New Hampshire’s sixth-largest tax, coming in right behind the real estate transfer tax. It would extract from the economy $50 million more per year than the interest and dividend tax does. 

    Even with Democrats in charge of both houses of the NH Legislature, it is to be hoped that Drew's objections will be heeded.


  • And the great Michael Ramirez checks out the "Medicare for All" plan.

    As they say: If you have been in a poker game for a while, and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.


Last Modified 2019-02-10 3:38 AM EST