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Friday, October 06, 2006

Citizens Flunk Civics

FIRE's The Torch reprinted 2 questions that were asked of college students by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. It shows how college students do not have a grasp of their First Amendment rights (actually most Americans are in the dark on the Constitution). They state:

The following two questions from the survey and their results are a telling indictment of the state of First Amendment education in American higher education.

The Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits:
a. Prayer in public school
b. Discrimination based on race, sex, and religion
c. The ownership of guns by private individuals
d. Establishing an official religion for the United States
e. The President from vetoing a line item in a spending

Only 49% of seniors knew the answer was d, the establishment of an official state religion.

The idea that in America there should be a “wall of separation” between church and state appears in:
a. George Washington’s Farewell Address
b. The Mayflower Compact
c. The Constitution
d. The Declaration of Independence
e. Thomas Jefferson’s letters

Only 27.2% of seniors knew that the correct answer was e, a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists.

And how many of the correct answers were just guesses?

Politics Is What Is Wrong

In a short but sweet post at Chicagoboyz explaining that the War To Defend the US from Terrorism is being undermined by ourselves, they state something I have been advocating for the past few years:

The problem is not military but political. The Bush administration lacks sufficient domestic support to prosecute the war at the pace favored by those of us who think Syria and Iran should be next (and should have been next a long time ago). We lack the resources to do much more than we are doing.

The list again:

1. President's failure to adequately explain the necessary steps needed to win.
2. Democrat use of any problem as political fodder to return topower.
3. Ridiculous spending on non-essential programs.

However, with all that, we are less vulnerable to attack than Europe, intellectually and politically led by appeasers remarkably similar to the Liberal Left of the U.S.

Pass The Chitos

Now I learn that I should have inhaled for 30 years! Is it too late to start?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Econ 101 Always Beats Socialism 101

Disputing Joseph Stiglitz' NYT editorial that, guess what, proposed higher taxes on the rich, George Reisman explains the effect of savings by the rich. It is not "hoarding", as Stiglitz calls it, of money by the rich that hurts the economy. Such savings create capital. That capital funds new companies, expansion of old companies and ultimately pays wages of workers.

Explains Reisman:

The fact is, of course, as John Stuart Mill pointed out in the middle of the 19th Century, that what is saved, i.e., not spent in purchasing consumers’ goods, is spent. But it is spent productively, i.e., in buying capital goods and in paying the wages of workers employed by business firms. These workers, of course, then consume their wages...

Because their funds are spent in these ways, taxing the rich to reduce the government’s deficit actually means reducing the spending of business firms for capital goods and labor, the spending of business’s employees for consumers’ goods, and the spending of all consumers for expensive consumers’ goods.

The high taxes that Stiglitz and his kind propose are merely a means of income redistribution. The redistributors, ie the government, apparently know better than the unwashed masses how best to spend money for the greater good.

However, as Reisman shows Econ 101 always trumps Socialism 101.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Clouding Economic Facts

Donald Luskin provides links to 12 of Reagan's yearly speeches he gave to The American Conservative Union. Luskin provides a long exerpt from the 1988 speech where Reagan points out how Democrat economists were combining the economic results of the first 5 years of his administration with the 4 years of Carter's administration. The result of was to show there was no improvement in the economy under Reagan's policies by combining the good Reagan numbers with the bad numbers from the Carter administration.

The Dems do the same things today to downplay Bush's remarkable economic performance after inheriting the Clinton recession.

Reagan concluded the speech with:

So, believe me, I welcome this approach by the opposition. And I promise you, every time they use it, I'll just tell the story of a friend of mine who was asked to a costume ball a short time ago -- he slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist.

The same holds true with the critics of Bush's tax cuts. But those ignorant of economics coupled with partisan ideology (and MSM business section headlines), keep on trying.

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