Monthly Archives: October 2009

Quote Of The Day

From the WSJ:

The bottom line is this: The available empirical evidence does not support the idea that spending multipliers typically exceed one, and thus spending stimulus programs will likely raise GDP by less than the increase in government spending. Defense-spending multipliers exceeding one likely apply only at very high unemployment rates, and nondefense multipliers are probably smaller. However, there is empirical support for the proposition that tax rate reductions will increase real GDP.

Government taking your money and spending it is less likely to help GDP than government taking LESS of your money and letting you spend the difference yourself.

Not that this is a new idea, of course… But it’s good to see some academic support.

End The Fed, Save America

It seems improbable that monetary policy could become a “sexy” political topic, but Ron Paul has done it. It started during his 2008 Presidential campaign when he continually talked about the Federal Reserve when asked about the economy, continued through his oft-entertaining interrogations of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and most recently has culminated his sponsorship of H.R. 1207, a bill to conduct a General Accounting Office audit of the entire Federal Reserve System. It’s all pretty amazing actually; who would have ever thought that people would be getting excited over the Federal Reserve Board ?

In his new book End the Fed, though, Paul provides a clear, concise explanation for why we all need to be worried about the fiat paper money system that we’ve lived under for decades. As Paul says, the system itself is unsustainable over the long term, and Federal Reserve itself has contributed to economic instability in the 96 years since it’s founding.

This isn’t a detailed economic treatise, it’s a call to political action, and Paul does an excellent job of making his case for the argument that we need to bring an end to the monetary system that is, slowly but surely and inevitably, destroying us and destroying freedom. Instead, he argues that we need to return to the days of the Gold Standard, which doesn’t even need a central bank to function properly. You may disagree with the end scenario that Paul proposes, but it’s hard to disagree with his assertion that liberty in money is as necessary for a free society as liberty in thought or property.

Paul’s most important insight in this book, though, comes in his concise demonstration of how the “magical printing press” monetary system that we have today makes possible the leviathan state that is threatening to bankrupt us. Without a central bank with the ability to create money at will and in secret, it’s highly unlikely that the welfare-warfare state would be able to exist. Without free money, the state would be forced to either raise taxes or borrow money to finance it’s ventures and adventures and it’s unlikely that either taxpayers or bondholders the kind of unlimited spending that fiat money makes possible.

What this means is this — you’ll never have a truly limited government as long as you have a central bank with the power to create “money” at will.

That’s why it’s important to End the Fed, and that’s why this book is one that everyone should read.

Hollywood’s Incomprehensible Defense of the Child Rapist, Roman Polanski

From The LA Times:

More than 100 industry leaders and prominent authors — including directors Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Michael Mann, Mike Nichols, Woody Allen and Neil Jordan — have signed a petition asking that [Roman] Polanski be released from Swiss custody. “Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision,” the petition says.

On the television show “The View,” Goldberg said, “I think he’s sorry. I think he knows it was wrong. I don’t think he’s a danger to society.”

I am rarely shocked by the hypocrisy of the Hollywood elites but I never dreamed that even these self-important hypocrites would come the defense of a child rapist. Though accused of drugging and forcibly raping his 13 year old victim, Polanski plead guilty to a lesser charge of unlawful sex with a minor. Yet Hollywood idiots such as Whoopi Goldberg go on national television and say things like “I think he’s sorry…I don’t think he’s a danger to society” and “it wasn’t ‘rape’ rape.”

If anyone has spent any time at all watching Dr. Phil, Oprah, To Catch a Predator, or virtually any other television program on the subject, one point that is often made is that pedophilia is “incurable” and are therefore offenders are always and forever a “danger to society.”*

Speaking of Oprah, where is she on this case? She spends a great deal of time and energy advocating stricter penalties for sex offenders and increasing budgets of local, state, and federal sex crimes task forces yet I have found nothing on her website or elsewhere about her thoughts on Polanski or the response of her Hollywood friends. Is she too afraid to offend her friends or does she also seem to believe that exceptions should be made for rich and famous celebrities?

Oprah, your silence is deafening.

My first thought was that this was another case of Hollywood exceptionalism but upon further inspection, this may not necessarily be the case. Had Roman Polanski committed a particularly heinous crime like voting for Bush, making a Jesus movie, or questioning Obama’s healthcare plan, these same people wouldn’t be signing petitions of solidarity or be so forgiving of him being a child rapist.

While the elites continue to point out that this crime occurred over 30 years ago and say we should forgive and forget, many thousands of individuals are required by law to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. Some of these individuals’ crimes are actually quite tame** in comparison to what Polanski plead guilty to doing. In some extreme cases, registered offenders are forced to move if a school bus stop is moved closer to their home (yes, this means that even though the registered offender was already living there before the home was near a bus stop, s/he is required to move). Because no one wants to live near a sex offender, these individuals have great difficulty finding a place to live; some end up homeless living under bridges.

Just yesterday, Radley Balko reported at The Agitator that Georgia sex offenders were ordered to live in the woods…until the story broke and the public outcry forced them back out of the woods. Balko points out that they will have to once again notify the state of their new address even though they have nowhere to go (which is not an excuse; failure to notify the authorities could result in arrest).

If these sex offenders have to endure this sort of treatment, it only stands to reason that Polanski should endure the same. Sure, I suppose none of these other sex offenders directed Oscar winning movies but I’m sure that many of them made positive contributions to society as well, their sex offenses notwithstanding.

Whether its Roman Polanski, Roman Catholic priests, or any other individual who chooses to abuse children, justice demands that the criminal justice system treats them the same. Shame on the Hollywood hypocrites and Polanski sympathizers who demand anything less.

» Read more

Quote Of The Day

Michelle Obama on what our kids need:

We need all of our children to be exposed to the entrepreneurial ideals that our businesspeople from around the country represent, particularly this time in our nation’s history, where government taxation and regulation is strangling the economy and entrepreneurship opportunities dry up. It becomes increasingly harder for our kids to learn to be self-sufficient, in a nation where we’ve coddled their self-esteem through sports where we don’t keep score, social promotion in our schools, and a welfare-state mentality where they have little fear of failure. When we’re seeing rates of 18 to 24 unemployment over 50% due to minimum wage laws, it is so important for them to realize that if they want to succeed, the government is doing nothing but keeping them in a state of slothful apathetic dependency on their couch, waiting for the next unemployment check to arrive. We need to raise up the platform and recognize folks like Bill Gates, Paula Deen, Robert Johnson, Craig Newmark, and John Mackey, to ensure that our kids understand that it is not government that makes this country great, but the hard work and dedication of individuals trying to make their own lives and those of the people around them better.

Oh, wait, that’s not her quote. I made that up.

Her quote — in “advocacy” for Chicago’s bid for the Olympics — was a lot more condescending and appears to blame American kids’ obesity and laziness on a lack of government programs. In fact, rather than suggesting that Chicago is a great place to host the Olympic Games, she’s claiming that we need them here because without those positive role models, our kids will fall apart like the fragile little creatures we’ve let them become.

We need all of our children to be exposed to the Olympic ideals that athletes from around the world represent, particularly this time in our nation’s history, where athletics is becoming more of a fleeting opportunity. Funds dry up so it becomes harder for kids to engage in sports, to learn how to swim, to even ride a bike. When we’re seeing rates of childhood obesity increase, it is so important for us to raise up the platform of fitness and competition and fair play; to teach kids to cheer on the victors and empathize with those in defeat, but most importantly, to recognize that all the hard work that is required to do something special.

America used to bid on the Games by suggesting that we were the best place to host the Games — you know, from each according to his ability. Now, on the other hand, we bid based on how much the Games will bring to us — to each according to his need.

A bid for the Olympic Games is not where I’d ever expect to hear “it’s for the children”.

Hat Tip: McQ @ QandO

The Brits Have Finally Lost It

…why don’t they just make stabbing illegal?

Plans to replace the traditional pint glass with one made of shatter-proof plastic will not be accepted by drinkers, the pub industry has warned.

The Home Office has commissioned a new design, in an attempt to stop glasses being used as weapons.

Official figures show 5,500 people are attacked with glasses and bottles every year in England and Wales.

“There’s going to be quite a push behind this in terms of the Home Office.”

The Home Office Minister, Alan Campbell, said the redesign could make a significant difference to the number of revellers who are injured.

He said: “Innovative design has played an important role in driving down overall crime, including theft, fraud and burglary.

“This project will see those same skills applied to the dangerous and costly issue of alcohol-related crime and I am confident that it will lead to similar successes.”

When I first came across this on Lowering The Bar, I thought it must be false. I thought even the Brits would avoid pushing themselves into a reductio ad absurdum. They were warned about the slippery slope, and responded by saying that slippery slopes are dangerous and it’s a lot safer to be all the way down at the bottom!

Stories like this almost make me feel like my home, California, is free!

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