In 1947, Henry Grady Weaver asked in the opening pages of his book The Mainspring of Human Progress, "Why did men die of starvation for nearly 6,000 years? Why is it that we in America have never had a famine?" The answer is that "we, in the United States, have made more effective use of our human energies than have any other people on the face of the globe — anywhere or anytime."
This leads Weaver to seek why human energy works better here than anywhere else, and in so seeking, he ponders the nature of energy and what helps and hinders its work. His finding: "human energy cannot be made to work efficiently except in an atmosphere of individual freedom and voluntary cooperation, based on enlightened self-interest and moral responsibility."
In short, American liberty was the difference; our freedoms provided the perfect environment for unleashing human energy and therefore is why America never had a famine but instead has progressed in wealth. And going back to his opening, before he answered his question, he had marveled at many facets in American progress, including this:
We have moved from backbreaking drudgery into the modern age of power, substituting steam, electricity, and gasoline for the brawn of man; and today the nuclear physicist is taking over and finding ways of subduing to human uses the infinitessimally tiny atom — tapping a new source of power so vast that it bids fair to dwarf anything that has gone before.
Apropos of this, let me quote to you a news article from today, care of USA Today:
Wood making comeback as power source
One of the world's oldest energy sources is making a comeback.
Across the USA, power plants are turning to wood to make electricity. The move is spurred by state mandates to encourage renewable power and by bills moving through Congress that require more renewable electricity nationwide. ...
A plant in Kenansville, N.C., was converted from burning coal to burning wood. It reopened in 2009 and sells its power to one of the state's largest utilities. ...
1. I've used this introduction before. The last time, it was over proposed power plant that would burn chicken waste.
By the conventions of budget scoring, CBO ignores these macroeconomic changes. By contrast, households facing increases in marginal tax rates of 20 percentage points will not ignore them. This means that the healthcare reform bill will likely have a more adverse budgetary impact than CBO estimates.
Brent Bozell at the Media Research Center has written how media cannot produce any verification of the quotes supposedly proving Rush Limbaugh's racism and therefore unsuitability to be part owner of an NFL team (look, don't stop to think about it, just roll with it), but that isn't stopping them from reporting them as fact.
Well, maybe spewing racism when you can pretend it's really being said by conservatives is something the Angry Left does nationally, but it doesn't happen here, right? Well, regrettably yes, and not just in hoaxed hate crimes.
For the Angry Left: Is it acceptable to invent fictitious racism? Does it make you proud? Do you think it serves the "common good" to try to make people who aren't racist seem like hood-donnin' klansmen? Does that help bring about racial harmony, or has that ever really been your goal?
State government wants more North Carolinians to vacation in North Carolina. I thought one of the arguments or tourist taxes is that they get paid by other people. If state residents stay are the tourists then we pay the taxes ourselves, so there's no benefit from the tourist tax and we just end up paying even more taxes. Now all the Lynn Minges and her minions in the state Commerce Department need is to subsidize in-state tourism with tax credits or maybe a tourist tax holiday, they could even include a clawback provision if you don't buy enough tchotchkes.
An advocate and a critic of the health-care reform proposals circulating on Capitol Hill presented their cases today to a full Campbell Law School auditorium.
Click play below to hear highlights from the Cato Institute's Doug Bandow, who prefers market-based solutions, and the N.C. Justice Center's Adam Searing, who wants Congress to pass some version of the reform plans Democrats are debating now in Washington, D.C.
Click play below to watch the entire 1:25:10 recording.
Daren and Terry miss the economic reasons for opposing Rush's purchase of the Rams.
The Rams are awful - and as a Lions fan, I know awful. They make every team they play look good on both sides of the ball and mean another win for the opposing coach. Many players on other teams can point to somebody on the Rams who has a bigger contract and so have an argument for more pay in their next round of negotiations. A group with Limbaugh among the owners could actually make the team competitive at a low cost. (Compare this to Dan Snyder's spendthrift cellar dwellers, the Redskins.)
Daren did note the Irsay opposition, which points to why owners would oppose the deal. Right now, they can threaten to move when a city does not build a new stadium. If Limbaugh buys an awful team, rebuilds and keeps it in place, other owners lose a lot of their bargaining power.
The "racism" charge is not about Limbaugh's politics, but about the way he might challenge the cartel.
As Terry pointed out, there are some football players that are upset about the potential bid by Rush Limbaugh (along with others) to buy the St. Louis Rams.
Of course, like clockwork, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have joined in and are opposing Limbaugh's bid to buy the Rams because, as reported, of Limbaugh's track record on race. They think Rush is too divisive. The question the NFL should ask is whether they should be listening to these two regarding divisiveness:
Sharpton: "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house."
Jackson: There are so many quotes to choose from. How about him being "sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust." How about him calling Jews "Hymies" and New York City "Hymietown."
I'd like to see one clearly "racist" comment by Limbaugh (that is documented). The McNabb comment was a statement about race and the media--that doesn't make it racist.
Would the NFL keep someone from buying a team, and possibly keeping the Rams in St. Louis, because he makes his living by expressing his views? I'd hope the NFL respects free speech more than that. Their political correctness suggests otherwise.
As for Jim Irsay, I'm not surprised he'd vote against Limbaugh. After all, why would he care about the Rams leaving St. Louis? The Irsay family (specifically Bob, the dad) is best-known for moving the Baltimore Colts in the middle of the night to Indianapolis.
Finally, the thing that really got me were comments on ESPN made by John Saunders. After reporting on the issue, he said: "Dave Checketts [the other key individual seeking to buy the team] is a solid individual, I don't know what he's doing
hooked up with Rush Limbaugh right now, as a matter of fact."
I was shocked he'd made this comment--it wasn't some commentary show. Nothing bothers me more (except maybe the designated hitter rule) than when dumb sports hosts want to discuss issues of politics, at least within a sports program.
Divisiveness isn't a reason for the owners to oppose Limbaugh--anybody that expresses their views on sensitive topics will be divisive. If Michael Moore (the documentary filmmaker, not JLF's Michael Moore) wanted to buy the Houston Texas, then so be it.
Unless there is clear evidence that Limbaugh is racist (which there isn't), then the NFL should approve any bid (assuming the finances work).
Eight years ago, if you asked who the most powerful politicians in North Carolina were, you’d have gotten a list looking pretty much like this:
• Gov. Mike Easley
• Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue
• U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms
• U.S. Sen. John Edwards
• Speaker of the House Jim Black
• House Majority Leader Joe Hackney
• Senate leader Marc Basnight
• Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand
• Senate Majority Whip Frank Ballance
• Longest-serving state senator R.C. Soles
Today, Black and Ballance are convicted felons, Easley and Soles are under investigation, Edwards is a national laughingstock and under investigation, and Perdue is the most unpopular governor in modern North Carolina history. Hackney, Basnight, and Rand are still in power but in 2010 will probably face their most-competitive election cycle since 1994.
And the late Sen. Helms was highly praised from the stage at the recent U2 concert in Raleigh.
Set the politics aside and just think about how fortunes can be reversed, tables can be turned, and big heads can deflate. Humility is a virtue and the future is always uncertain.
Beloved Leader Obama likes to be compared with FDR, but the president he really ought to emulate is Warren Harding. The economy was in shambles when he took office in 1921. Fortunately, he listened to advisers like Andrew Mellon who said that the best course was for the federal government to cut spending, cut taxes, and do nothing to impede the process of the free market in directing resources to their most productive uses.
Tom Woods recounts the successful Harding laissez-faire approach here.
Of course, if Obama ever entertained for a microsecond the idea of allowing the free market to work, Rahm Emanuel would upbraid him for "letting a crisis go to waste." Those who yearn for an ever more powerful government relish crises as an opportunity to grab more wealth and power.
An investment group that includes Rush Limbaugh has prompted a handful of owners and players to protest the group's bid to buy a stake in the St. Louis Rams football franchise.
Some object to Rush's opinion about Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Six years ago, Rush commented, "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." For a league that requires franchises to interview minority candidates for coaching positions (the Rooney Rule), there is evidence that the NFL, as well as the media covering the league, is sensitive about race.
As a private organization, the NFL has a right to determine how franchises conduct changes in ownership. The Limbaugh group's proposal will be put to a vote of existing owners and would have to be approved by 24 of the 32 teams. Colts owner Jim Irsay has already declared that he would vote against the proposal, based - not on the strength of the proposal or the financial assets of the investors - but on the fact that Limbaugh is a partner in the group. That seems a bit rash.
Limbaugh's motives are admirable. The Rams are terrible and terrible teams always face the prospect of skipping town. As a Missouri native, Rush simply wants to keep an NFL franchise in St. Louis. There are a number of cities that would love to have an NFL franchise and would not give a second thought to moving the Rams out of St. Louis.
Anyway, you have to chuckle at the fact that the NFL, a league that employs numerous convicted felons and few role models (see note below), is trying to appear to "take the high road" in this situation.
Note: Travis Henry now has 11 kids by 10 women. The website, which has not been updated recently, reported that Henry has 9 kids by 9 women.
One West Johnston High School student said, "I personally learn better online. It's a more relaxed atmosphere. I can go over something I can't get or go ahead quicker if some text is particularly easy." You mean one size does not fit all?
The state operates the NC Virtual Public School, but cannot adequately handle the demand. We are long overdue for a virtual charter school. It would also be nice to see private providers of virtual education get into the mix.
Christopher Hitchens' latest Newsweekcolumn sets out five categories for which people have collected past Nobel Peace Prize awards, including "service to cynicism, opportunism, and hypocrisy," and "service to random but vague feelings of goodwill." Even those categories do not explain, Hitchens tells us, the decision to give the award to our first-year president:
We thus find ourselves in a rather peculiar universe where good intentions are rewarded before they have undergone the strenuous metamorphosis of being translated into good deeds, or hard facts. And it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid entertaining the suspicion that there is something explicitly political in the underlying process of Nobelista decision making. I do not think that I am shying at shadows here, either. Especially of late, the literature awards, on which I am more qualified to pronounce, have reflected the same or a similar mentality. The choices of an Italian anarchist, an Austrian Stalinist, a Portuguese Stalinist, and the hysterical anti--American Harold Pinter are or should be fresh in our minds, and we might remember that this is a Nobel committee that let Vladimir Nabokov and Jorge Luis Borges go to their graves -unrecognized.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the choice of ex-president Jimmy Carter for the peace prize in 2002 was accompanied by statements from Oslo that said outright that he was being rewarded for his opposition to the foreign policy of an elected sitting president of the United States.
Daniel Gross of Newsweek does not seem to know how to detect one. He appears surprised to relate the following:
Andrew Taylor, the CEO of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, in many ways epitomizes the business establishment. His family is No. 32 on the Forbes 400, their $7 billion fortune built on allowing middle-class people to drive cheaply. He donates mostly to Republican candidates. But when it comes to energy prices, he holds a heretical view. In the past year, gas has swung from $4 to $2.50 a gallon, which has made it difficult for auto manufacturers (and rental companies) to predict whether consumers will desire fuel—sipping compacts or fuel-burning SUVs. It strikes Taylor that if the government were to guarantee a stable gas price of between $3 and $4 per -gallon—through a high national gas tax like they have in Europe, for example—it might spur innovation and hasten the shift to electric cars. "Consumers would know what kind of car they want to buy, and manufacturers would know what to build," he says.
A few years ago, such talk—looking to European-style intervention in an iconic American market, passing on higher prices to consumers—would have been enough to mark Taylor as a traitor to his CEO class. But Taylor is what you might call a progressive businessman. Not Progressive in the old-school, Robert La Follette reforming sense. And not Progressive in the new-school, fair-trade coffee, Huffington Post sense. Since the 1920s, it's been common to hear businesspeople speak of themselves as being small-p progressives—pragmatic, eager to use new technologies and improve systems, willing to work with government and labor, not antagonistic to change. And we seem to be in a progressive moment.
I'm shocked — shocked! — that the head of an established business might consider seeking the government's help in securing his company's market position.
Accustomed as they are to a world filled with rent seekers, folks in Washington appear flabbergasted that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is taking a different approach. We learn this in the latest Business Week:
The Chamber has moved sharply to oppose much of the legislation and many of the regulations and policies streaming out of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress on health care, labor issues, and finance. In a move some see as little short of a declaration of war on the White House, Donohue has been crisscrossing the country to raise $100 million to launch the "Campaign for Free Enterprise." It is intended to promote open markets and fight a rise in regulations and tax hikes that he argues will undermine job creation and the economy. "We are certainly not alone," says Donohue, adding that the Chamber's controversial policy choices reflect his members' views: "This is not me.…This is not my staff. We are delivering on the issues that concern the business community."
The George Mason University economist is the latest subject of Hillsdale College's Imprimis, and he nails a number of key limited-government themes, including the best response to those who believe government must act when it has the opportunity to "do good."
[T]he primary justification for increasing the size and scale of government at the expense of liberty is that government can achieve what it perceives as good. But government has no resources of its own with which to do so. Congressmen and senators don't reach into their own pockets to pay for a government program. They reach into yours and mine. Absent Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, the only way government can give one American a dollar in the name of this or that good thing is by taking it from some other American by force. If a private person did the same thing, no matter how admirable the motive, he would be arrested and tried as a thief. That is why I like to call what Congress does, more often than not, "legal theft." The question we have to ask ourselves is whether there is a moral basis for forcibly taking the rightful property of one person and giving it to another to whom it does not belong. I cannot think of one. Charity is noble and good when it involves reaching into your own pocket. But reaching into someone else's pocket is wrong.