URLs du Jour


  • Patrick Hynes points out Irwin Stelzer's column at the Daily Standard website outlining the incoming Democrats' legislative priorities. They're dreadful, as you might expect: minimum wage, protectionism, kicking drug companies in the teeth, and all manner of resentment of "the rich" worked out in tax policy. (And, I might add: no hope of reasonable defusing of the fiscal time-bomb posed by the current trajectory of entitlement programs.) Pat comments:
    Next time some libertarian friend of yours tells you that there isn't a dime's worth of different between liberal Democrats and 'big government conservative' Republicans, slap him upside the head.
    Slap received here, although I don't recall actually saying that. But slaps should also be held in reserve for both (a) Republicans who only fitfully and ineffectively campaigned on the other side of these issues before the election, when it actually mattered and (b) the voters, for whom it probably wouldn't have made a lot of difference anyway. Not to mention that the GOP has squandered a lot of its credibility on spending and trade in any case.

    Pat also says:

    But hey, those damned Republicans tried to keep that girl in Florida alive, so screw them, too, right?
    For the record, not all libertarians were on the "starve her" side. My posts (I guess I'm feeling a tad defensive today) touching on the issues spurred by the Terri Schiavo case are here, here, here and here.

  • I'll take the liberty of quoting three paragraphs from Thomas Sowell's latest column where he sticks a sharp pin in the hot-air balloon of a talk show host's comment that a particular high corporate executive salary "makes no sense".
    Years ago, a famous essay pointed out that nobody knows how to make a simple lead pencil. That is, there is no single individual anywhere who knows how to grow the wood, mine the graphite, produce the rubber, and manufacture the paint.

    Complex economic processes cause all these things to be done and coordinated by a wide variety of people, just in order to produce something as simple as a lead pencil. Multiply that by a hundred or a thousand when it comes to the complexity of producing a car or a computer.

    If you cannot understand something as simple as making a lead pencil, why should you be surprised that you don't understand why someone is making a lot more money than somebody else?

    The 48-year-old masterful essay that Professor Sowell refers to is right here. It should be required reading for politicians everywhere, about which they should be required to pass a comprehension test afterwards (including Professor Sowell's question above), and they should be required to write their answers with a Number 2 Mongol 482 Woodclinched Yellow Pencil. Just sayin'.

  • Meanwhile, over at the American Spectator blog, John Tabin espies a sentence which, in his estimation, "may be the perfect distillation of everything that has been wrong with American liberalism since the Progressive Era." So you'll want to check that out.

  • Bob Newhart's retail Christmas memories. 'Nuff said. (One of my Christmas gifts from the Salad family: the second season of The Bob Newhart Show on DVD. Woo!)

Last Modified 2012-10-21 7:25 AM EDT