URLs du Jour


Eye candy from Remy today:

"What's the worst that could happen?" I'd bet we're going to find out.

  • Veronique de Rugy answers her own question: Want To Boost Economic Growth? Tell Government To Spend Less.

    Intellectuals are supposed to speak truth to power. Unfortunately, some seem to be more interested in saying what everyone expects them to say, which only reinforces the status quo. Thankfully, a few scholars are resisting this trend, fighting for what is true rather than what is popular.

    Case in point: a recent Hoover Institution paper by economists John Cogan, Daniel Heil and John Taylor, which makes the case for a reduction in spending now in order to positively impact the economy.

    It's refreshing to see their research, considering that we live in a world where pundits and even economists bend over backward to make the case that more debt is not a problem and that more fiscal stimulus is desirable. Never mind that the arguments that intellectuals offer to defend these claims aren't supported by the academic literature. Consider the mistaken notion that more spending will stimulate the economy and somehow reduce the debt burden of the policy in the first place. Research overwhelmingly confirms that, for a variety of reasons, the return of government spending on economic growth is much less than the money spent.

    Not a popular position to take these days, since both parties are wedded to the idea that government spending can solve problems. (You did watch that Remy video, right?)

  • But some sensible voices are still managing to make it onto the NYT op-ed page. (I guess the woke censors are on vacation this week.) Reason managing editor Stephanie Slade saith: Republicans Are Ripping Out ‘the Very Heart and Soul’ of Their Party.

    (I suspect that the GOP criticism made it NYT-acceptable.)

    In 1975, the future president Ronald Reagan said, “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

    Today, many leaders of the Republican Party have coalesced around a desire to purge libertarians, with our pesky commitments to economic liberty and international trade, from their midst. If Mr. Reagan’s agenda was a three-legged stool of religious traditionalism, a strong national defense and free-market economics, they hope the latter leg can be reduced to sawdust and scattered to the winds.

    The Republican Party seems to become more comfortable with top-down economic interventionism by the day. Rising stars denounce the global market integration that has defined the postwar era. Last year in a speech calling for a national pivot to “common-good capitalism,” Senator Marco Rubio of Florida declared, “Our challenge is an economic order that is bad for America.” Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri insists, “It’s time we ended the cosmopolitan experiment.”

    Hey, Republicans? You'll miss us when we finally give up on you.

  • I'm slightly ill by the newfound respect to the USPS shown by our state pols. "Respect" of course in the sense that they want to dump $N billion on the "service", few questions asked. At the NYPost, Betsy McCaughey points out: Democrats' 'postal' panic has zero basis in fact.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently warned that “dangerous new policies” made by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who took the top job at the US Postal Service in June, will prevent mail-in ballots from being counted. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has charged that there is a conspiracy afoot to “undermine and dismantle the post office ahead of the November election.”

    This is rank, irresponsible scaremongering. Consider two central facts.

    (1) The USPS is ready to handle mail-in voting. Even if every voter in the United States relied on the mail instead of voting in-person, first-class postal volume would increase by a minuscule 2 percent. That’s nothing. Yet at most half that number, about 80 million, are expected to vote by mail. Keep in mind: The post office handles a staggering 472 million pieces of mail a day.

    (2) The USPS has enough cash on-hand to pay bills and meet payroll until August 2021. It doesn’t need emergency funding. What it needs is overdue reform.

    I would only dissent that the USPS will "handle" mail-in voting about as well as they "handle" my National Review subscription. Two recent issues missing, another one chewed up.

  • But how's the GOP platform coming? Jeff Jacoby reports it's unwell: Honey, they shrunk the GOP platform.

    In a resolution adopted Sunday, the Republican National Committee said there would be no new platform because pandemic-related restrictions made it too difficult to bring delegates together to draft one. If only the party had left it at that.

    But the resolution didn't stop there. It went on to dismiss platforms as cynical documents that shouldn't be taken seriously anyway. "Parties abide by their policy priorities," the resolution declared, "rather than their political rhetoric." Yet rather than list even a few of the GOP's 2020 policy priorities, party leaders summarized their outlook in a single principle:

    "The RNC enthusiastically supports President Trump. . . . The Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President's America-first agenda . . . [and] calls on the media to engage in accurate and unbiased reporting, especially as it relates to the strong support of the RNC for President Trump and his Administration."

    'Twas only yesterday I wrote: " The Republican Party has ceased to be a party that even pays lip service to the principles it once thought were important. (Or at least important to tell the bubbas about.) Now it's just Trump. Who doesn't stand for anything besides Trump."