Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cruising the Web

The WSJ reminds us of the wisdom of Frederic Bastiat on why public works programs should not be our answer to unemployment. We must look to what is not seen instead of just regarding what is seen.
lose patience, I confess, when I hear this economic blunder advanced in support of . . . a project. "Besides, it will be a means of creating labor for the workmen."

The State opens a road, builds a palace, straightens a street, cuts a canal; and so gives work to certain workmen—this is what is seen: But it deprives certain other workmen of work, and this is what is not seen.

The road is begun. A thousand workmen come every morning, leave every evening, and take their wages—this is certain. If the road had not been decreed, if the supplies had not been voted, these good people would have had neither work nor salary there; this also is certain.

But is this all? Does not the operation, as a whole, contain something else? At the moment when M. Dupin pronounces the emphatic words, "The Assembly has adopted," do the millions descend miraculously on a moon-beam into the coffers of MM. Fould and Bineau? In order that the evolution may be complete, as it is said, must not the State organize the receipts as well as the expenditure? Must it not set its tax-gatherers and tax-payers to work, the former to gather, and the latter to pay? . . .

The sophism which this work is intended to refute is the more dangerous when applied to public works, inasmuch as it serves to justify the most wanton enterprises and extravagance. When a railroad or a bridge are of real utility, it is sufficient to mention this utility.
Thomas Sowell has one of his random thoughts columns today. And one of those thoughts echoes Bastiat.
Politicians can solve almost any problem — usually by creating a bigger problem. But, so long as the voters are aware of the problem that the politicians have solved, and unaware of the bigger problems they have created, political “solutions” are a political success.
Yup. That is how it works.

James Capretta explains how reconciliation can be used to repeal Obamacare without needing 60 votes in the Senate. All the GOP need are a majority in the Senate and the White House. It came in that way; it can go out that way.

Katrina Trinko pores
over the weekly columns that Herman Cain has written starting in 2005 and finds some insights into Cain's political thinking.

Kathleen Parker is exactly right
that it is time to discard the prejudice against Mormons. It is unseemly in our politics. We shouldn't be casting one religion against another.

The Washington Post looks at some of the history revealed in the oral history tapes from members of George H.W. Bush's presidency. I like the story about how he insisted on changing out of his tennis clothes before he entered the Oval Office because he just didn't think it was appropriate.

As Obama campaigns telling audiences that Republicans want people to die and the air to be dirty, he should watch out. The Republicans can campaign that Obama wants people to be out of work and pay more for their health care.

The GOP in the House want to pass a bill that would limit our contributions to the United Nations. Hillary Clinton is opposed.
“What are we paying for?” Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen demanded. Then she ticked off the scandals: “A UN Human Rights Council that includes such gross human rights violators as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and its vice-chair, Cuba. Two years after the Administration joined the Council, the Council still has undergone zero fundamental reforms, continues to pass resolution after resolution condemning Israel, and its permanent agenda item on Israel remains in place. We’re paying for the Durban process, which has been hijacked to spread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic venom.”

Continued she: “Then there’s the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, recently chaired by North Korea. So serial proliferator North Korea presided over the UN’s disarmament body, and Iran, a regime which stones women to death, is a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. We’re paying for a U.N. that just appointed as the head of its Kosovo mission an individual involved with the infamous Oil-for-Food scandal, and a U.N. that goes after whistleblowers while protecting the corrupt.”
Exactly. Why are we funding this?

George Will excoriates both the NBA players and the owners. And rightly so. Bill Simmons is also fed up with both of them and has proposals to fix the whole mess. They should hire him as mediator.

Who would imagine such a thing? Thieves are stealing computers and donated money from Occupy Wall Street. I guess they want to share the wealth. Why should the richest at OWS be the ones with computers?

Fracking gets a clean bill of health.