URLs du Jour — 2013-12-29

Bureau of Bureaucracy

  • You won't want to get into 2014 without reading Dave Barry's "Review of 2013, the Year of the Zombies". A sample from January…

    … which begins with a crisis in Washington, a city that — despite having no industries and a workforce consisting almost entirely of former student council presidents — manages to produce 93 percent of the nation’s crises. This particular crisis is a “fiscal cliff” caused by the fact that for years the government has been spending spectacular quantities of money that it does not have, which has resulted in a mess that nobody could possibly have foreseen unless that person had a higher level of financial awareness than a cucumber. At the last minute, congressional leaders and the White House reach an agreement under which the government will be able to continue spending spectacular quantities of money that it does not have, thus temporarily averting the very real looming danger that somebody might have to make a decision.

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I remember.

  • Commentators continue to react to President Obama's isn't-inequality-awful speech. A good broadside from Matthew Continetti in the Washington Free Beacon is titled "The Inequality Business". He is inspired not only by the speech, but also by a couple of Katie-Couric-tweeted pictures from Gracie Mansion showing the luxurious, glamorous digs where the new New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, will soon reside.

    What the income inequality debate is about is not social justice but social rule. It is about power, about who wields it and to what purposes, and the slogans and statistics that appear in the papers are the weapons by which a caste of liberals organizes its political coalition and vanquishes its opposites.

    We'll see how that works. Personally, I wish them bad cess.

  • And, on the same topic, I will quote nearly the entire letter to the WSJ recently penned by Don Boudreaux, economics professor at George Mason:

    If large differences in incomes truly are unjust as Pres. Obama and other ”Progressives” proclaim, then redistributing incomes from rich Americans to poor Americans does almost nothing to address this injustice. The reason is that even the poorest Americans are among the richest people on earth today, not to mention in human history. So given that the President and other “Progressives” really believe that transferring money from rich to poor is a justified and effective means of helping poor people – and believe also that large income differences are an outrageous injustice – then Mr. Obama and other “Progressive” politicians should have the courage of their moral convictions and call for higher taxes on all Americans, with the proceeds to be distributed directly to people in Chad, Ethiopia, Haiti, and other countries whose citizens languish in poverty unimaginable to “poor” Americans.

    That the President and his fellow “Progressives” in Washington issue no such call suggests that the true aim of their public moralizing is to paint a pretty face on their selfish quest for votes and power.

    I have nothing much to add there except: Exactly!

  • Finally, something co-workers brought to my attention. Here is the staff directory for the UNH Foundation, the fundraising arm of the University Near Here. And a little counting reveals…

    • Number of people named on that page: 36.

    • Number of those people with "director" in their titles:24

    Which brings to mind that old saying about "chiefs" and "indians". It just brings it to mind, however, since the saying probably way too racist to utter or type in this day and age.

    Still, something to point out when the U emits one of its periodic whines about not having enough money.

Last Modified 2013-12-30 3:57 AM EDT