June 30, 2008
McCrory stakes out '100-percent different' position from Perdue on offshore drilling
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 5:22 PM
Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory threw his support today behind the idea of offshore drilling for North Carolina. He discussed his stance on the issue during public appearances in Greenville, Washington, Wilson, and Raleigh.
McCrory says his position marks a 100-percent difference with Democratic opponent Beverly Perdue, who opposes offshore drilling. You can watch McCrory's entire 26:40 Raleigh presentation by clicking play on the video clip below.
Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beverly Perdue issued the following statement in response to McCrory's announcement:
“It shouldn’t surprise us that once again my opponent is walking in lock-step with George Bush, this time on his failed energy policy. North Carolina’s coast is in Hurricane Alley and has been called the Graveyard of the Atlantic for a reason. I haven’t seen anything that proves to me that drilling there can be done safely or bring down oil prices. Until that day comes, our focus must remain on finding greener forms of energy and increasing conservation efforts.”
What ever happened to the free market?
Posted by Becki Gray at 4:42 PM
Once upon a time companies researched and developed new ideas in the hopes of discovering new processes and products that would be profitable. The free market determined which were successful and which weren’t.
Today, the government gives tax revenue to some companies to develop new processes and products, but not to others. Today, government also creates markets for some ideas and not for others.
North Carolina’s newest Green Business Fund gives $1 million of taxpayer money for industry the government has created with energy efficiency and renewable energy requirements. See the Triangle Business Journal report here.
I want my money back.
The worst of the worst
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:05 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued plenty of bad decisions. Twelve of the worst make up The Dirty Dozen, highlighted in a new book from William Mellor of the Institute for Justice and Robert Levy of the Cato Institute.
Mellor highlighted key themes from the book during today's John Locke Foundation Shaftesbury Society meeting.
7:55 p.m. update: Watch the entire presentation here.
NC spends a lot on higher ed, but doesn't receive commensurate benefits
Posted by George Leef at 2:18 PM
On the Pope Center's website today, Jane Shaw takes a look at a recent study done by Professor Richard Vedder and grad student Andrew Gillen on North Carolina's higher education spending. The paper has some interesting findings, among them that while NC spends substantially more per student (i.e., subsidizes higher ed) than do neighboring states, it lags behind when it comes to the percentage of people with college degrees.
I hope that UNC officials don't read the Vedder/Gillen paper and say, "We've got to find some way to keep students in college! Those dropout figures make us look terrible!" The trouble, in my view, isn't that we suffer from having too few people get those pieces of paper saying "I'm a college graduate" but that we induce far too many to enroll in college in the first place.
The climate may not be "tipping" but democracy is capsizing
Posted by George Leef at 1:42 PM
Al Gore tells us that we're at a tipping point with regard to the climate. That's almost certainly wrong; we are not at some point of no return that calls for immediate, drastic action.
But what about democracy? James Bovard argues here that American democracy is at the point of capsizing. What he means is that the number of voters who receive benefits from government now outnumbers those who are entirely dependent on themselves. He writes, "But in modern times, dependency is the highest political good -- at least for politicians. Since the 1930s, politicians have striven to leave no vote unbought. Government aid programs have been endlessly expanded, and the government has sought to maximize the number of people willing to accept handouts."
The long-run consequences of having a majority of people looking for ways to live at the expense of others are predictable. Less and less energy will go into the production of goods and services. More and more will go into efforts at wheedling favors from politicians. Society goes into a slow downward spiral, as we have seen in, e.g., Argentina.
The United States used to be the haven for ambitious, productive people. Where will the new haven be?
Re: Ask what you ... heck with it, to be patriotic, just support laws forcing people off oil
Posted by Jon Sanders at 1:25 PMThe Politico has the Obama speech up. In my prediction about what Obama would say, I was wrong and right.
I hinted that Obama would take the same tack he has in previous statements, which is to deflect attention to socialist programs. But I forgot how he has made that approach in the past — first by referencing the ideals of the Founders, then after having imitated the soaring rhetoric of past American luminaries, changing the focus to make it sound as if the next step for American liberty is to become a socialized nanny state. It's what he did with his first speech to address his mentor and family friend, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And it is what he has done here (incidentally, his "typical white" grandmother is good again in this speech).
So I was wrong to predict Obama would forget the Founding ideals; in fact, he refers to them, even quoting the opening lines to the Declaration of Independence. But I was right to think he would ultimately suggest that patriotism for most Americans would be socialist fixes. In his speech, Obama states
So what is patriotic service in Obama's view? Well, outside of military service, which only Obama's surrogates may question, it is:
For the rest of us – for those of us not in uniform or without loved ones in the military – the call to sacrifice for the country’s greater good remains an imperative of citizenship. Sadly, in recent years, in the midst of war on two fronts, this call to service never came. After 9/11, we were asked to shop. The wealthiest among us saw their tax obligations decline, even as the costs of war continued to mount. Rather than work together to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and thereby lessen our vulnerability to a volatile region, our energy policy remained unchanged, and our oil dependence only grew.
In spite of this absence of leadership from Washington, I have seen a new generation of Americans begin to take up the call. ... not only those who have signed up to fight for our country in distant lands, but those who are fighting for a better America here at home, by teaching in underserved schools, or caring for the sick in understaffed hospitals, or promoting more sustainable energy policies in their local communities.
I believe one of the tasks of the next Administration is to ensure that this movement towards service grows and sustains itself in the years to come. We should expand AmeriCorps and grow the Peace Corps. We should encourage national service by making it part of the requirement for a new college assistance program, even as we strengthen the benefits for those whose sense of duty has already led them to serve in our military. ...
When we pile up mountains of debt for the next generation to absorb, or put off changes to our energy policies, knowing full well the potential consequences of inaction, we are placing our short-term interests ahead of the nation’s long-term well-being. When we fail to educate effectively millions of our children so that they might compete in a global economy, or we fail to invest in the basic scientific research that has driven innovation in this country, we risk leaving behind an America that has fallen in the ranks of the world. Just as patriotism involves each of us making a commitment to this nation that extends beyond our own immediate self-interest, so must that commitment extends beyond our own time here on earth.
- Not shopping
- Raising taxes on the rich
- Forcing economic decisions on people a.k.a. "reducing our dependence on foreign oil" — and by "foreign oil" he means "oil," since he opposes offshore and continental drilling
- Teaching in "underserved schools" — which of course doesn't refer also to charter and private schools
- Working in understaffed hospitals
- Not working anywhere else, such as small businesses, corporations, or worse, charter or private schools
- Promoting government policies to force economic decisions on people via the euphemism of "more sustainable energy policies"
- Expanding AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps
- Making such "national service" mandatory for those receiving federal college loans
- Raising taxes to eliminate the national debt (granted, it's not what he says, but given all his many, many other proposed expansions of the federal government and his stated desire to raise taxes on the wealthy, you know he isn't going to propose lowering spending)
- Mandating by law wrenching changes to the nation's energy policies (see above)
- Not protecting your fellow citizens from laws that would force statists' economic decisions on them, especially — by virtue of Obama's multiple statements on the subject — choices regarding consumption of gasoline and other petroleum products
- Massively increasing federal education spending
- Massively increasing federal research spending
- Not protecting your fellow citizens from confiscatory taxation
Melinda Gates thinks all kids should go to college
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 12:19 AM
In a recent NPR interview, Melinda Gates (wife of uberbillionaire Bill) says that we can reasonably expect 100 percent of high school students to become college students. When the NPR reporter asks her how many years it would take to reach that goal, Mrs. Gates says,
I think it is going to take us quite a while. I think that this is a long-term effort and I think it's one that the [Bill and Melinda Gates] foundation is going to be at for a very long time. But it ought to be our goal as a nation. We shouldn't let this number of students drop out. I think it's a moral crisis that we're failing students this way. Is universal college attendance the natural consequence of a graduation rate of 100 percent?
HT: Joanne Jacobs
Ask what you can [take by force from your fellow citizens to] 'do' for your country
Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:44 AMByron York writes:
On this Fourth of July week, Senator Obama will discuss what patriotism means to him and what it requires of all Americans who love this country and want to see it do better.
As alluded to in my headline, I expect that Obama will use the famous John F. Kennedy line, and that he will — as is typical with him — pervert it to mean socialism. I fully expect Obama will not remember the very next line in the JFK inaugural address: "My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Nor do I expect he will mention what Kennedy said at the beginning of his speech:
And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God. We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.
Obama and statist politicians in America today dare not remember that we are heir to the belief that the rights of men come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of the Creator God Himself.
Ohio commits hara-kiri
Posted by George Leef at 10:25 AM
Chester Finn had a revealing piece in Saturday's Wall Street Journal entitled The Self-Inflicted Economic Death of Ohio.
The trouble with Ohio (and Michigan and most of the old northern tier of industrial states) is that it has for decades been controlled by big government Democrats (the only kind) and big government Republicans (not the only, but the dominant species) whose appetites for government spending and control has made the state unattractive to investors. Ohio's governor Ted Strickland seems to be playing the role as FDR during the Depression, giving nice speeches, but doing nothing to remedy the underlying problems.
Reading the piece, I could not help but think that if we get an Obama presidency with solid Democratic control of Congress, the entire country will start to look like Ohio.
Maybe the truth about teacher pay is getting through
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:20 AM
Gov. Mike Easley's criticism this weekend of fellow Democrats working on a final state budget focused on the impact of the House and Senate budget plans on teacher pay.
In the governor's words: "Teachers get shafted in this budget."
That's hard to believe, since their average compensation already ranks 10th in the nation.
Stephen Moore interviews Phil Gramm
Posted by George Leef at 10:14 AM
Saturday's WSJ featured this interview with former US Senator Phil Gramm, who now is advising McCain on economic policy and could well be Secretary of the Treasury in a McCain administration.
Gramm has always been a solid limited government guy who understands that a growing government absorbs resources that ought to be put to productive uses.
Too bad there couldn't be a debate between Gramm and Obama, since McCain admits to being not very knowledgeable on economics. (Unfortunately, that fact has not stopped him and his Senate colleagues, most of whom are equally weak in their understanding of economics, from passing legislation that has tremendous economic implications.)
GOP gubernatorial candidate to discuss offshore drilling
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:10 AM
As Pat McCrory stakes out his position on offshore drilling, one hopes he'll consider recent comments from John Hood:
Gas prices helped to explain ... why most North Carolinians now favor an end to the prohibition against drilling for oil or natural gas off the Carolina coast, a prohibition that never made environmental sense and is now patently absurd.
Latest dispatches from the political trail
Posted by John Hood at 09:51 AM
• Pat McCrory schedules two press events to announce his policy on offshore drilling. Beverly Perdue wades into the controversy about whether the government should take a Stanly County dam away from Alcoa and create a new public-power authority.
• The Greensboro News & Record doesn't think much of a Republican complaint about Kay Hagan's latest fundraising report. Congressional Quarterly thinks well of Hagan's prospects in her challenge to Elizabeth Dole, whose support of lifting a federal moratorium on continues to make waves.
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:35 AM
I know we've asked this before, but given the progress of the forced annexation "moratorium without a moratorium" and Greensboro's overnight four-percent growth in population through forced annexation, it seems a good time to ask again what exactly local government nabobs mean when they say "growth doesn't pay for itself." If they're right, of course, then the question becomes one of why cities forcibly annex new residents.
Thanks, Joe Klein, for proving Mises' point
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:42 AMLudwig von Mises once told us, “Every socialist is a disguised dictator.” (You’ll have to scroll down to find the reference in this chapter of Human Action.
One of TIME’s resident left-leaning columnists offers proof of Mises' assertion with his latest column, an attack on the air conditioner:
I will confess a bias here. I love warm weather, even when it slouches toward humidity. I detest the harsh, slightly metallic quality of the air forced through even the fanciest AC systems. The only air conditioner I own sits, unused, in my car; my home is happily unrefrigerated. But given the energy mess we're in, I can now gild my personal preference with a patina of high-mindedness: air-conditioning is bad for the planet, and for national security, and for our balance-of-payments deficit.
Rather than accept that other people have different preferences, Klein rails against the Bush administration’s “policy of malignant neglect,” a policy that did not force people to live without air conditioning:
Actually, George W. Bush's failure to call for sacrifice — and fuel conservation would have been a great one — after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been one of the great failures of his presidency.
Klein assumes that a government empowered to make more decisions about our thermostats would make choices conforming to his preferences. In other words, he’d like to dictate our energy use.
For more examples of Mises’ prescient observations, click here, here, here, and here.
Basic economics indeed
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:38 AMIn the latest TIME, Michael Kinsley bemoans politicians' recent gas price pandering. He says “the U.S. revealed its complete ignorance of basic economics.”
Unfortunately for Kinsley, he reveals his own ignorance two paragraphs later:
The Saudis apparently believe that a lower oil price will be good for them in the long run. If they're right, it surely means that a lower price would be bad for the U.S. When it comes to the price of oil, the interests of producers and consumers are diametrically opposed.
Well, no. The characteristic of a market transaction is that both parties benefit. The producer wants the money more than he wants his product. The consumer wants the product more than he wants his money.
Perhaps Kinsley needs a copy of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:34 AM
The first Carolina Journal Online exclusive of the new week features Michael Lowrey's analysis of a state appeals court ruling involving a Gaston County governmental immunity dispute.
John Hood's Daily Journal highlights the state's most influential political blogs.
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