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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Who Hates Capitalism? Who Loves It?

A point was raised by someone somewhere (I know who but that does not matter) that college professors hate capitalism because their salaries are puny compared to salaries of people (possibly lesser lights) in other occupations.

The Austrian-economics blogger Gil Guillory wrote:

All sorts of people hate capitalism for all sorts of bad reasons. Why should I take seriously the concerns of someone who earns less than they think they should? If a professor can't pay his bills, then he has over-extended himself. Surely you don't claim that professors are below the poverty line or some such. Instead, professors should realize that although teaching and learning are important, their marginal unit is not necessarily that socially valuable, and therefore their market salary is not necessarily the same as someone who applies the knowledge so taught.

Elsewhere Bill Murchison lauds the recent news from Ford as painful to the employees but a benefit to us living in a capitalist society. Why? Creative destruction. A new carmaker will arrive with people with creative ideas to replace the crotchety or immobile leaders of the bankrupt monoliths.

While there are tears aplenty for those who lose jobs, there cannot be a belief in perpetual employment by one employer anymore. Those who moan about Ford's (and GM's) financial woes always approved the high salaries of union employees while buying Toyotas and Hondas. Look again at the piece below from Arnold Kling. Big companies are dysfunctional. Better to be nimble as a company and creative as an employee.

And better to buy great products at a low price.

Is It Warming or Freezing?

I am no scientist, but can anyone explain to me how global warming caused this or this? Or will the ecologists go back to the claims of the early 1970's that we are facing global freezing.

Statutes Raised Above Constitution

Have you noticed that the people against Bush's wiretapping program read the FISA statutes very strictly while most of them read the Constitution very expansively? The former is a statute that outlines investgative authority of the government that was enacted prior to the techno explosion in the communications field. However, the Constitution is deemed as a mere outline to be liberally shaped or "interpreted" to the changing fads of an era.

Do people see the difference between the authority of a statute versus a Constitutional prohibition?

Public says keep on bugging the bad guys

If Republicans were successful in reversing Roe v. Wade, I see it as likely that the legality of abortion would be decided in the political arenas of each state. Abortions would then be available somewhere in the US. Unless liberals abort themselves and their supporters out of future voters.

Even then, expect abortions to be available in NYC and Los Angeles. It could be part of a NYC campaign: "Come to New York. Get an abortion in the morning and be seated for a Broadway show later that night". Or an LA campaign: "Come to LA and get an abortion. You may meet a celebrity at the clinic."

But when Democrats decry the Patriot Act, the wiretaps and other anti-terror methods, we know they have no viable back-up plan to replace these statutes. That is the political problem of their position on terror.

Per Dick Morris in Wiretaps Are a Winner for W, polls show:

The Fox News poll of Jan. 11 asked voters whether the president "should have the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor electronic communications of suspected terrorists without getting warrants, even if one end of the communication is in the United States?" By 58 percent to 36 percent, the answer was "yes."

Indeed, 42 percent of the nation's Democrats agreed that the president should have this power. The poll also tells us that Americans attribute the absence of terrorist attacks over the past 41/2 years to our government's efforts to protect us. Asked if the fact that there has been no major terror attack since 9/11 was due to "security measures working" or to "no attack having been planned" by terrorists, Americans credited government efforts by 46 percent (to 22 percent for the terrorists, with another 20 percent saying both factors contributed).

Other results: Some 61 percent — including a majority of the Democrats — said they'd be willing to surrender some of their own privacy to help prevent terror attacks. Respondents support renewal of the Patriot Act by 57 percent to 31 percent. (Even Democrats only oppose renewal by 40-47.)

And those who called attention to the NSA policy of warrant-less wiretaps are called "traitors" by 50 percent of the voters and "whistleblowers" by only 27 percent. Democrats opted for "traitors" by 42 percent to 34 percent.

There is the theoretical and the practical. With reports (mostly on blogs and some conservative outlets) of arrests of potential terror actors in the US counterposed against instances of successful acts of terror in other countries, the American public can see the "proof in the taste of the pudding". With time for Republicans to regroup and self-clean, I do see the public mounting a massive "Throw out the bums" campaign in the coming elections.

Cloistered Academics Have No Real Life Experience

Are academics naturally prone to liberal politics because they have little first-hand work experience in a business? Do they see corporations as all powerful while anyone within can see they are dysfunctional? Is the world view of academics due to having jobs that have high autonomy with low risk?

Discussing these questions is Arnold Kling in an essay in FrontpageMag.com (Kling is published in that great website for the first time that I know of).

Capturing the essence of the liberal fantasy that government, if it were run by just the right people, would solve the ills of society, Arnold Kling writes the following:

Many academics share the adolescent fantasy that government would be terrific if only the right leaders were in charge...

A good way to cure the adolescent fantasy is to spend time in government. Up close, it is hard to tell the people from the special interests. The crusaders for more low-income housing turn out to be construction companies. The campaign for energy independence and clean-burning fuel turns out to be a plea for a subsidy to benefit a large ethanol producer. Conversely, those of us arguing against drug price controls do so not because we are industry stooges but because we believe that markets incentives lead to better treatments and cures.

The Democratic Party is opposed to tax cuts. Is this a matter of principled concern for the fiscal health of the United States, or is it because "the people" that dominate the party platform -- the teachers' unions; the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; and opponents of Social Security reform -- all feed from the government trough?


Monday, January 23, 2006

Money In Hollywood Drying Up?

The music industry and the rockers are getting squeezed financially due to pirated downloaders. That is unfortunate. Movie actors are apparently beginning to see some reduced income from movie projects due to to something more innocent and clearly against their political philosopy---capitalism. Yes, the law of supply and demand is having its effect upon movie star fees. It is basically the latter demand that has dried up considerably. Even the likeable Tom Hanks (for The Da Vinci Code) has chosen the option of taking a percentage on a film rather than blockbuster cash payments.

I guess those big movie ads in the NYT that nobody reads is not increasing the theater take. I'll admit to the shadenfreude in seeing Hollywood actors getting less money. It is still a lot more than all of my friends and I make.

NBC Discovers Bad Ratings Aren't Good

NBC is cancelling The West Wing" due to very bad ratings. For some reason,. the American public has little interest in watching ultra-liberals bashing Republicans and winning fictional elections. Rather than handing over the network to Aaron Sorkin and the Democratic Party, NBC began to analyze what it was doing in the broadcast business.

In recognition that ratings mean something to shareholders, NBC plans on creating a new show called "Bob O'Malley" about a TV host of a news issue show that appears on a fictional new network called "Wolf TV".

Sounds too far-fetched to succeed to me.

EU Getting "Tough" With Iran

Mark Steyn provides us the current "EU3" response to Iran's open threat to annihilate Israel:

Jack Straw has been at pains to emphasize that no military action against Tehran is being contemplated by him or anybody else. But in a sign that he's losing patience with the mullahs, Straw's officials have indicated that they're prepared to consider the possibility of possibly considering the consideration of a possible motion on considering sanctions for the U.N. Security Council to consider the possibility of considering.

Calling John Kerry for some of that magic negotiations that Europe and he is know for.

Israel may be planning some negotiations with Iran soon.

"You Know What I'm Talkin About"

"You're one of the best Jews we've ever had working here."

Whether it is spoken one on one or to a group, the inability to look beyond another's race, religion or ethnicity is troubling. Add to that pandering and manipulation, and it is abominable.

In reaction to Hillary Clinton's recent MLK speech in a Harlem church (The House "has been run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about"), Shelby Steele takes offense at the treatment of blacks as victims in need of white liberal guardianship.

Steele writes:

Mrs. Clinton came to Al Sharpton's MLK celebration looking for an easy harvest of black votes. And she knew the drill--white liberals and Dems whistle for the black vote by pandering to the black sense of grievance. Once positioned as the white champions of this grievance, they actually turn black resentment into white liberal power. Today, Democrats cannot be competitive without this alchemy. So Mrs. Clinton's real insult to blacks--one far uglier than her plantation metaphor--is to value them only for their sense of grievance.

Steele then explains that the liberal politicians cannot succeed in the face of blacks who move forward upon their own powers and abilities. And number one on the Leftist hit parade is Condi Rice. Steele writes:

The archetype that Ms. Rice represents is "overcoming" rather than grievance. Despite a childhood in the segregated South that might entitle her to a grievance identity, she has clearly chosen that older black American tradition in which blacks neither deny injustice nor allow themselves to be defined by it. This tradition, as Ralph Ellison once put it, "springs not from a desire to deny the harshness of existence but from a will to deal with it as men at their best have always done." And, because Ms. Rice is grounded in this tradition, she is of absolutely no value to modern liberalism or the Democratic Party despite her many talents and achievements. Quite the reverse, she is their worst nightmare. If blacks were to take her example and embrace overcoming rather than grievance, the wound to liberalism would be mortal. It is impossible to imagine Hillary Clinton's "plantation" pandering in a room full of Condi Rices.

And Steele explains that nothing will kill today's liberalism quicker than a Rice presidency.

The more ugly her persecution by the civil rights establishment and the left, the more she would give liberalism the look of communism in its last days--an ideology long since hollowed of its idealism and left with nothing save its meanness and repressiveness. Who can say what Ms. Rice will do. But history is calling her, or someone like her. She is the object of a deep longing in America for race to be finally handled, not by political idealisms, but by the classic principles of freedom and fairness.

"You know what I'm talking about".

“Keepin’ It Real With The Democratic Party”

Skip March writes:

Look out Saturday Night Live, the Democratic Party is now poised to become the biggest comedy show in the country. Stars include Hillary “Rob ‘Em” Clinton, Howard Mean, Schmucky Schumer, Turbin Durbin, Teddy “Bare” Kennedy, John “Flipper” Kerry, Nancy “Talking Points” Pelosi, Barbara Boxhead, Al Bore to name a few. The New York Junior Senator’s recent soul sister routine on Martin Luther King Day is the most recent in a long string of embarrassing efforts to be “one of the people”. In fact, this isn’t the first time Clinton has gone into her funky white girl mode with a black audience….she really needs to get some lessons from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and work on her rap. You gotta bet that there were good folks in that audience muttering under their breath, “girl get out of our neighborhood.”

Then there was Al Bore during the 2000 Presidential Election screaming, and I mean screaming, to a black congregation from a church pulpit how the “Lord will be revealed” (surely if he is elected). Whew…dodged that bullet didn’t we. And then there was John Kerry walking into a gun shop in Pennsylvania during the 2004 presidential election and asking “is this where I get me a huntin’ license” in an effort to secure the good ol’ boy vote. Yep, I sure would like to sit around a campfire with Ol’ Flipper and bang back a few Old Milwaukees while he talks about his global test. Would that be a multiple choice test to cover his many positions on one issue? Never mind, it’s complicated. Why any of these instances weren’t eviscerated by the main stream media the way President Bush Number One was when he didn’t quite know what to do with a checkout scanning device at the supermarket is beyond comprehension since they are all so transparently phony. Next up, Harry “Dingy” Reid covers Archie Bell and the Drells’ “Do The Tighten Up.”

This is the same party of the people that now wants to use the judicial system to overturn the will of the people. After the 2000 election Kennedy accurately observed that liberals and the Democratic Party were losing at the ballot box at the State and Federal levels. He went on to say that they must hang on to their power in the courts. Hhhmmm…..not interested in the will of the people and wants to hang on to power. Rather telling I’d say. Of course his performance during the Alito hearings was McCarthyesque, Joseph that is. Much like Senator Boxer’s questioning of Secretary Rice during her confirmation hearings. Kennedy’s own hypocrisy quickly came to light. And then you have People’s Party Chairman Howard Mean declaring that it’s not the Democrats job to put forward any meaningful plan for the future, rather just to stop President Bush and Republicans. And People’s Party Minority Leader Pelosi echoes the same sentiment regarding the Democrats’ approach to the War in Iraq. Sounds like blocking the will of the people again to me and with nothing to offer as an alternative.

Lest anyone think this is one of those so called “right wing nuts” writing this, I have in fact voted for Democratic candidates in the past and will again if Joe Lieberman runs. And I have taken what may be regarded as a “liberal” stance on certain issues. But I sure know a bunch of phonies when I see them and I know a Party that is dominated by them. And I also know that it’s the people of this country who should be deciding public policy, not judges and not the politicians that want to stop the will of the people.

Get down, get funky, get real….. and you know what I’m talkin’ about.

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