Saturday, July 10, 2004


Should be more of it: "Meet Tennessee's shadow governor. As a state senator, Marsha Blackburn made it politically impossible to enact a state income tax by sounding the alarm at the state Capitol. Phil Bredesen then had to run against a state income tax for his first term just to get elected. Blackburn was the first to propose how to cut the growth in the state budget. She recommended cutting 5% across the board for each department. When Bredesen got into office, he cut all departments 9% across the board." ar American myth -- repeated with increasing frequency in this election year -- that 'The Rich' (whoever 'they' are) don't pay their fair share of taxes. A corollary to this is the assertion that The Rich received the biggest benefit of the so-called 'Bush' tax cuts, the political catch-phrase for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Neither position is supported by hard data taken from income tax returns. In fact, in both cases, the opposite is true. In other words: The Rich not only pay a disproportionate share of taxes, this share has been increasing since 1990."

Austria and Iceland are undermining the high tax rates of the EU -- showing by example how beneficial tax cuts are.

Wal-Mart serves humanity: "The New York Times recently ran an interesting article on everyone's favorite global retailing behemoth, Wal-Mart.... two stunning examples of economic illiteracy, one misrepresentation of a very heroic deed, and a lovely comparison of Sam Walton to Chairman Mao."

Free trade under fire: "According to Douglas Irwin, free trade is under fire because some groups believe that they do not participate in the accumulation of wealth that trade brings. Others oppose it because they believe that trade agreements subvert national sovereignty and threaten to harm workers and the environment. Irwin, professor of economics at Dartmouth and long-time advocate of free trade, intends with this book to show the benefits of free trade and evaluate the arguments against it."

Cafe Hayek asks: "Why not return to the open-borders regime that prevailed in the United States from its independence until the end of the 19th century? I here put aside concerns with national security and deal exclusively with an economic objection to increased immigration.... The American economy is today far more able than in the past economically to "absorb immigrants.""

Irving Kristol thinks Reagan was a neocon: "A tax policy that energizes the economy, government regulations that are not too destructive, and moderate restraints on spending would have the effect of shrinking the bloated welfare state relative to the size of the economy. The welfare state itself could not be wished away. By now Reaganomics has become the semiofficial philosophy of the Republican party. As a consequence, this party is now seen as having a plausible and legitimate claim to be the governing party... In sum, Ronald Reagan made the Republican party proactive in economic policy as in foreign policy". I think Kristol fails to distinguish between what Reagan wanted and what he could get through Congress.

A U.S. productivity triumph: "In the first 13 quarters of the Bush Administration, the basic determinant of our standard of living increased by almost as much as during the entire 32 quarters of the Clinton Administration... But it would spoil the narrative of the Bush Administration as bumbling and Hoover-esque to point out that the most fundamental measure of our economic strength is shooting through the roof."



Hilarious! I have somehow got myself onto the mailing list of the Iranian Communist Party! (headquartered in London, of course). Some of their stuff on Islamic madness is rather good so I have just put an interview with their founder up here. They are one Leftist group who have no illusions about appeasing or negotiating with the mullahs. The mullahs have killed too many of them. American Leftists who love both Communists and the Islamists would be put into a BIG dilemma if they heard what real Communists say about the Islamists!

Leftist backpedalling? "The war in Iraq has always been a war against fascism, a liberation war for democratic freedom -- even a left-wing war. Or so I have always thought. All over the world there are people who consider themselves liberals or left-wingers who think the same and who have backed the war in one fashion or another, even while criticizing President Bush's way of conducting it."

Evan Sayet has a rather impassioned account of why he has just changed from Democrat to Republican. He makes the point that many have noticed: The Democrats are now not remotely the party of J.F. Kennedy and his predecessors. Ever since LBJ it has been careering ever further to the Left. Would you believe that it was a Democrat President who said this? ""The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their Government, its functions do not include the support of the people."

Trade sanction stupidity. The Left love sanctions but: "Using trade as a weapon of foreign policy has harmed America's economic interests in the world without advancing national security. The proliferation of trade sanctions in the 1990s has been accompanied by their declining effectiveness. From Cuba to Iran to Burma, sanctions have failed to achieve the goal of changing the behavior or the nature of target regimes. Sanctions have managed only to deprive American companies of investment opportunities and market share and to punish domestic consumers, while hurting the poor and most vulnerable in the target countries." Maybe the failure of the long embargo against Cuba to topple Castro should have told the Clinton administration that continuing the sanctions against Saddam's Iraq for almost a decade would not topple him either.

Oz Conservative has an interesting link to an article which questions the old feminist gospel that men should be more like women "for their own good". Women were supposed to be mentally healthier. I showed what a lot of nonsense that was years ago in one of the academic journals. A much-overlooked set of findings, needless to say.

Sounds hopeful: "The battle lines for the future of [U.K.] state education are now clear. Under Labour, whose blueprint is published today, there will be a revolution with a whole swath of state-financed schools throughout the country being handed over to private sponsors to run. By the end of the decade, the bankers, the churches, the millionaire philanthropists and leaders of the country's private schools will be in charge, in the name of more choice for parents. The Government is planning a big expansion in its city academies programme -- creating up to 200 by the end of the decade -- as one of a series of radical measures aimed at raising school standards."

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


Leftism is more popular with young people than with older people largely because Leftism is itself juvenile: They criticize what they don't understand. Which makes it ironic that "We know best" and "It's for your own good" are the basic Leftist messages. Leftists have never got past the simplistic thinking or the arrogance that are the characteristic limitations of youth

"Created" equal in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is a religious way of saying that people are NOT equal but start out with the same rights.

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