Thursday, June 18, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
The traditional paradigm has this strange dichotomy, in which market behavior is rational and self-interested but policymaker behavior is perfectly altruistic. These idealized constructs are very limiting. Note that the Left tends to complain about the limitations of the rational model of the market actor, while the Right tends to complain about the altruistic model of the policymaker.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a key figure in the health debate, has publicly lectured Elmendorf, saying he has a moral duty to be "creative" and deliver the favorable budget estimates "we have to have" to win broad support.
The Director of CBO oversees the agency's work in providing objective, insightful, timely, and clearly presented information about budgetary and economic issues.
The bill would give the federal government power over local building codes. It requires that by 2012 codes must require that new buildings be 30 percent more efficient than they would have been under current regulations. By 2016, that figure rises to 50 percent, with increases scheduled for years after that....
According to the bill's advocates, America's buildings account for perhaps 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse emissions, and technology is available for builders to meet the targets in ways that are economical for building owners. Much of the problem is old buildings that waste huge amounts of energy, which wouldn't necessarily be touched by the new code. But it would be good if builders met these efficiency goals with new construction.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
A poor Kansas farm boy who received the Medal of Honor for his heroism at Normandy ... lit up when he described the breakfasts during basic training. "Every kind of cereal you could imagine!" he said. "And pancakes and bacon and eggs."Don't let anybody fool you with their nostalgia for the 'good ole days' when income distribution was more 'fair' (Paulie Krugman). While income distribution was perhaps more even (mathematically speaking), the rising tide has lifted all boats. If you've been reading my blog, you know that, IMHO, one of the leading causes of our current mess is the wuss-ification of America and a generation of adults that knew only good times and had expectations that they were entitled to no form of economic pain. Mutliple Re-fi's, using your home as an ATM; spending more than you take in; etc... I'm not saying that those expectations were idiotic, b/c those adults were just living off a lifetime of experiences that taught them it was okay. To find the silver lining, I'm hoping this depression we are entering will teach my generation the power of living within our means. I know over the course of the last year, I've learned the true power of the dollar. I've been poor as dirt recently and it's a lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. The experiences of the first 23 years of my life taught me little about how money is earned, but the last year and a half has been quite educational. For the sake of our future prosperity, I hope others are learning similar lessons.
The wuss-ification of our nation must stop. Life is a beautiful process but much of that beauty is found in the relative difficulties in our individual lives. The darkness in life, makes the light that much more cherished. Children need to be taught how to cope with the inequalities of life. A motto I was entrenched with early in life is that, 'Life isn't fair'. Today there seems to be a rising tide of 'When life isn't fair, go cry about it to somebody and we can fix this problem'. By doing this, we are crippling children from a young age instead of helping them build some emotional muscle. The following two videos are disturbing:
Friday, June 5, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The consequences of that night have lingered for the last 20 years. At some time shortly following the demonstrations, the Chinese leadership made a commitment to One-Party Rule and suppression of civil liberties, while freeing up economic activity and fueling the greatest exodus from poverty that has happened in the history of mankind. In essence, the government said, "We will not give you democracy, but we will make you rich". And, as a libertarian, this is the concept with which I struggle most. China's growth has been imperfect, but it has been overwhelming. "让一部分人先富起来". Let some people get rich first. That's what Deng Xiaoping said. The rising tide of prosperity will lift all boats. And it's true. The poorest of China's poor are unbelievably poor. But they are still significantly better off than 20 years ago. I read an interesting book comparing the paths of Russia versus China in their exit from communism. Russia pursued a path of democracy first, economic freedoms second. Russia's democracy today is in shambles and so is their economy. China pursued a path of economic freedom first, democracy later. And while democracy is nonexistent, their economy is written about fawningly daily. So while I wish China were a free country (and I know that someday it will be), I almost have to respect the contradiction it presents to my personal philosophies.
Since Blogger is blocked in China right now, none of my friends there can access this post. For some, it's part of the sacrifice you make when you move to an authoritarian country. But not all of my friends moved to China; some were born there. For them, they are denied access to the flavors of life by the Great Chinese Firewall. They are denied access to differing opinions, certain movies, art and music. And conversely, they are not allowed to share their unique flavor with the world either. Those of us outside of China are denied exposure to a vast array of amazing peoples because the government decides so. And I find that unfortunate.
I'm not even close to being done hashing out this philosophical struggle. This post hasn't clearly shaped either side of my conflict, but nonetheless, I wanted to express some thoughts on today's significance. The rest of the day will be filled with links to words, videos and sounds surrounding 6/4. There are ugly sides to everyone's history. This is one of China's. Hopefully they can grow up and deal with it someday soon.
Monday, June 1, 2009
He should make clear that the overarching objectives are to create a profitable company that makes cars that people want to buy, and that are more fuel-efficient.