February 3, 2009
Re: Stimulus question
Posted by Jon Sanders at 9:44 PMWell, Joe, in answer to your question, I'd have to say that the 49 rent-seeking governors can't be wrong!
In fact, I am going to Washington for a big handout myself!
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 4:01 PM
Why is Mark Sanford the only governor explicitly against the stimulus bill?
Bobby Jindal said he opposes the bill, but he'll take the money. Maybe we'll have a chance to get more information tomorrow.
Appeals court decisions
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:45 PM
Interesting opinions from the N.C. Court of Appeals today address:
Teacher salaries not so bad
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 12:40 AM
The New York Times looks at teacher pay, and finds that some teachers don't have it so bad.
This is a great economic time to be a veteran public schoolteacher. Valerie Huff, a math teacher at East High here [Rochester, NY), a tough urban school, made more than $102,000 last year. Ms. Huff receives "free" health insurance and, upon retirement, will receive between $60,000 and $70,000 a year courtesy of her state pension.
Teachers in North Carolina fare pretty well, too.
Right-wing advice for Obama
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 12:17 AM
Increasingly, commentators on the right are giving President Obama advice on the stimulus package similar to this from Pat Buchanan. I wonder if he is listening? Will he take this advice?
Even Bill Clinton would not have
ceded so much to the tax-and-spend wing of his party, which he relied
on for votes, not advice.
Has Obama no more imaginative ideas
for government's role in reshaping the economy for the 21st century
than this? Was it all talk all along, to prepare the way for a return
to the days of spend and spend?
Sad, because this is likely to
be Obama's last shot at getting this economy on its feet and running by
2010. For Americans are not as patient as they were in the 1930s, when
FDR could try one idea, then another, then another for five years, and
continue to roll up massive electoral victories.
If Obama gets
this one wrong, and all this pork and welfare fail to generate real
growth, his party could face a wipeout in 2010, and his opportunity
could be lost forever. Does he really want to bet the farm on the nag
Nancy Pelosi just trotted out of the House?
Re: Ah Great Britain
Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 12:05 AM
There should be no surprise that people are suggesting that to fight global warming we have to control population. To declare CO2 the enemy is to declare human existence the enemy. Human existence emits CO2. If you want to control CO2 you must control human population and procreation. The logical conclusion of this movement is forced abortion and forced contraception. The global warming scare mongers represent a profoundly anti-human movement and now they have a representative in the White House.
GOP leaders tout education reform proposals
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:58 AM
The leaders of the N.C. House and Senate Republicans used their first joint news conference of the legislative session to tout ideas for education reform.
Among the proposals: nationally normed tests to measure academic progress; merit and differential pay for teachers; enhanced career, technical, and vocational education; and elimination of the cap on charter schools statewide.
Click play below to view the entire 17:26 news conference.
Debt capacity almost gone
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:36 AM
The state 2009 Debt Affordability Study is out and according to the Treasurer's office, state government can take on $188 million of new General Fund debt in the next budget. Transportation debt capacity is tapped out.
Corn ethanol as bad as gasoline
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:13 AM
So say researchers at U-Minnesota. Researchers did not test whether gophers have higher energy density than corn, but this could ignite a biofuel border war.
EnvironmentNC might be interested.
Cyberbridges to nowhere
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:54 AM
Whether local or federal, the money can easily be wasted, no matter what the corporate shills say. A third of adults without Internet access, don't want it.
Daschle, taxes, and power
Posted by George Leef at 10:14 AM
NRO features this sharp editorial on the problem (to many Democrats in Washington, very minor) that Tom Daschle evaded paying a fairly large chunk of taxes.
This is delicious. A former senator wanted to keep more money to spend as he pleases, but his former colleagues wag fingers at him because they wanted to blow that money instead.
The far bigger problem here is that it's possible for people like Daschle to earn millions as an influence peddler on the Potomac. It doesn't matter which party is in control: the federal government has far too much power to enrich companies and non-profit organizations that have the right connections.
Economic stimulus -- or just unnecessary spending?
Posted by George Leef at 09:43 AM
This blog post caught my eye. The "stimulus package" has $88 million for new construction in the Milwaukee school system. Does it matter that the shrinking school system already has many empty buildings? Evidently not.
But don't worry. The officials in Milwaukee will find some way to spend the money anyway. The construction unions will be delighted to construct a Taj Mahal or two for the public's servants to work in.
Back in the 80s, a new federal office building was built in downtown Milwaukee, a monument to long-time Congressman Henry Reuss. The GAO did a report on the need for additional government office space in the city and found that there was plenty of space for federal agencies (assuming that we even need federal agencies to have offices in Milwaukee!), but the money was appropriated and the building constructed anyway. That's how our wonderful government works.
We're in a recession, which means that some resources that were drawn into housing, finance, and other sectors that over-expanded during the bubble must now find useful employment elsewhere. The approach of the politicians is to impatiently try to solve this temporary problem for some people by borrowing vast sums of money to spend on an array of projects that would fail any cost/benefit analysis in normal times. Wasting resources on pet political projects can't speed the economic adjustments that must be made. It merely allows the politicians to say that they're doing something.
Ah, Great Britain
Posted by David N. Bass at 09:34 AM
As more evidence of Great Britain's continued plunge into the liberal abyss, the chairman of the country's Sustainable Development Commission says that couples who have more than two kids contribute to the destruction of the planet:
Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government’s Sustainable Development Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. He says political leaders and green campaigners should stop dodging the issue of environmental harm caused by an expanding population.
A report by the commission, to be published next month, will say that governments must reduce population growth through better family planning.
But wait ... the insanity is not confined to the British Isles alone. Our own Speaker of the House, the inimitable Nancy Pelosi, said that family planning services reduce costs, suggesting the facile notion that children are an economic drain.
Roy had some good thoughts on the ties between eugenics and global warming alarmists here.
Re: Where there's smoke ...
Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:25 AMGoodness, Mitch, what a quandary. What is the proper public policy on cigarette smoking for North Carolina?
On one side of the issue are John Hood and John Staddon. On the other side are Senator Hillary Clinton, Governor Mike Huckabee, Führer und Reichskanzler Adolf Hilter, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and al Qaeda.
Decisions, decisions ...
Chiropractic copays - the boys are back in town
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:13 AM
The last time chiropractors got a bill passed in North Carolina to expand health insurance coverage for their services, they gave House Speaker Jim Black $30,000 in illegal cash payouts - including one transaction in an IHOP restroom. The General Assembly repealed it after Black resigned as part of the post-scandal cleanup. But the chiropractors are back again, this time without gifts we assume, hoping to have copays legislated down to the level of primary care physicians.
"That's pretty expensive," said Rep. Hugh Holliman, a Lexington Democrat and House majority leader. "The usage goes up as the copay goes down."
Aren't middlemen just parasites?
Posted by George Leef at 08:56 AM
In one of his typically sharp essays, Professor Mike Munger answers that question in the negative. Read it here.
The common notion that we could do just fine without middlemen is another of those erroneous beliefs about economics -- like the belief that more government spending is the cure for a recession.
Where there's smoke ...
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:57 AM
Speaking of our fearless leader, he's not the only one concerned about the latest proposed smoking ban in North Carolina.
Duke's John Staddon disses the idea in today's News & Observer. Click here to see Staddon discuss this issue in detail.
We've been here before
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:52 AMThe start of a new presidential administration also marks the start of a new editorial reign at Commentary magazine. John Podhoretz uses his first editor’s column to remind us that our current woes are not the greatest calamity ever to befall mankind:
As I write these words, “the possibilities in America” are being subjected to a time of testing due to a series of financial shock waves whose reverberations are being felt worldwide. But the breathless tendency to imagine that we are on the verge of civilizational collapse, that we have it worse than anyone has had it in 75 years, and that democratic capitalism itself has been invalidated, is an example of the self-same ahistorical narcissism that leads so many today to believe they are possessors of a wisdom inaccessible to their forbears.
Booms are followed by busts. Bubbles burst. Crooks go to jail. A period of laxity is followed by a period of excessive control, the irritations of which help produce the conditions for the loosening that will, in turn, allow bust to turn into boom once again.
In the meantime, John Hood reminds us today that much damage can be done by ill-advised government meddling.
An interesting take on American politics
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:49 AMIn the latest Commentary, Yuval Levin tries to make sense of Sarah Palin’s impact on the 2008 campaign.
He makes the following observations, which you might find interesting:
In American politics, the distinction between populism and elitism is further subdivided into cultural and economic populism and elitism. And for at least the last 40 years, the two parties have broken down distinctly along this double axis. The Republican party has been the party of cultural populism and economic elitism, and the Democrats have been the party of cultural elitism and economic populism. Republicans tend to identify with the traditional values, unabashedly patriotic, anti-cosmopolitan, non-nuanced Joe Sixpack, even as they pursue an economic policy that aims at elite investor-driven growth. Democrats identify with the mistreated, underpaid, overworked, crushed-by-the-corporation “people against the powerful,” but tend to look down on those people’s religion, education, and way of life. Republicans tend to believe the dynamism of the market is for the best but that cultural change can be dangerously disruptive; Democrats tend to believe dynamic social change stretches the boundaries of inclusion for the better but that economic dynamism is often ruinous and unjust.
Both economic and cultural populism are politically potent, but in America, unlike in Europe, cultural populism has always been much more powerful. Americans do not resent the success of others, but they do resent arrogance, and especially intellectual arrogance. Even the poor in our country tend to be moved more by cultural than by economic appeals. It was this sense, this feeling, that Sarah Palin channeled so effectively.
For more reactions to Gov. Palin during the campaign season, click here, here, or here.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:44 AM
Today's Carolina Journal Online exclusive features Jim Stegall's report on the impact of current budget woes on the state's public education priorities.
John Hood's Daily Journal explains that the federal government can "stimulate" the economy only by taking resources out of the economy first.
<< Last Entry