URLs du Jour


  • Still Lying After All These Years: Jonah Goldberg shows that Al Gore (still) never lets the facts get in the way of whatever story he wants to tell; when in Cannes for his movie's debut, he ran into Ms. Arianna Huffington:
    Gore told Huffington that this was his second trip to Cannes. "The first was when I was 15 years old and came here for the summer to study the existentialists - Sartre, Camus. ... We were not allowed to speak anything but French!" This, gushed Huffington, "may explain his pitch-perfect French accent." Perhaps. Though according to David Maraniss' biography of Gore, the former vice president's 15th summer was spent working on the family farm. Remember those stories about how Al Sr. said, "A boy could never be president if he couldn't plow with that damned hillside plow"? That was the same summer.
    Zut alors! Jonah also points out that Al got C's in French in high school.

  • Tim Graham, spurred by a recent NYT story that referred four (4) times to "fiscal conservatives" went a-Nexising for NYT references to "fiscal liberals"; and came up with three (3) references—in the past twenty-five (25) years.

    So, when everyone's a fiscal conservative, how do we get these budget deficits? Must be magic.

    For an independent (and much easier) data point: asking the Google for "fiscal conservative" gives about 344,000 hits (as I type); "fiscal liberal" garners a mere 10,500.

  • Carl Schaad helpfully posts a map you can use to find out how prepared you are for the coming hurricane season. Disclaims Carl:
    Now, I'm NOT saying "Everyone Panic!" There will be time for that in two weeks.

Don't Dislocate Your Shoulder While Patting Yourself on the Back

Alex Tabarrok posts on the "Ethics of Economists":

I have an article in TCS today on why economists tend to be more in favor of immigration than the typical person. Surprisingly, the ethics of economists may be part of the answer!

Apparently, in this debate, it's not enough to be correct; you also have to be morally superior to your opponents. I've recently blogged about how this relates to Thomas Sowell's famous book A Conflict of Visions. And comments like the above remind me of nothing so much as Sowell's subtitle to his companion volume The Vision of the Anointed: "Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy."

It's not surprising that economists tend to be smarter than other people on economic issues. When Alex, and the co-signers of his open letter point out (for example) that a free labor market makes us all richer, they're right. But what they're right about is the relatively narrow theoretical economic issue, while neglecting practical cultural, legal, and political issues. It's not a matter of "ethics", really: it's more of a matter of focus. And, um, vision.

Meanwhile, Robert Rector at NRO provides a list of some of the costs of "reform" as passed by the Senate. Read the whole thing, and decide for yourself who's got a better look at the whole issue.