October 31, 2008
How Libertarians are voting
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 3:53 PM
Reason Magazine polled "policy wonks, journalists, thinkers, and other public figures in the reason universe." John McCain is highly unpopular among them. Some highlights:
"Anybody but McCain/Palin. Seriously. I'm begging you."
Comedian and Magician Penn Jillette:
"Bob Barr, he's the Libertarian, right? I like people to know there are some of us out there."
Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark
"Barack Obama, since he's a genuine leader, with a good program for cleaning up Washington, and will be very good for business."
Author Bruce Bartlett
"I plan to vote for Obama mainly because he is not a Republican and not John McCain, who is temperamentally unfit to be president."
Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum
"Bob Barr. I admired Barr as one of the most libertarian members of Congress even when he was a Republican and a gung-ho drug warrior. I respect him more for having the courage to publicly change his mind about drug policy and, more broadly, about the wisdom and propriety of using the federal government to impose a socially conservative agenda on the country."
Reason Foundation Founder Robert Poole
"John McCain, as the less-bad option. I base this on his positions on free trade, taxation and spending, unions, and Supreme Court nominations, as well as the merits of divided government (given the near-certainty of strong Democratic majorities in both houses)."
Re: Interesting word choice
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:45 PM
Even if you thought it was a good idea to paraphrase Caesar, would you choose the words he used to mark the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic? I thought not.
Climate policy in NC and elsewhere
Posted by Paul Chesser at 3:06 PM
My Climate Strategies Watch colleague Mark Newgent has a piece up at the Charlotte Observer's Web site (too much election material crowding out other issues in the paper itself) about the 56 recommendations that were published earlier this month by the North Carolina Climate Action Plan Advisory Group. Earlier this month the Locke Foundation exposed the fraudulent, excessively optimistic economic analysis that the Energy Center at Appalachian State University did on those recommendations, which Mark references:
To mitigate the perception of further tanking an already shaky
economy, CCS/CAPAG sought an outside analysis of their
recommendations from Appalachian State University's Energy Center,
which for a fee (about $28,000) produced the desired results. The
Energy Center reported that if the state implemented most of
CCS/CAPAG's proposals, North Carolina would realize $2.2 billion in
new net income and $1.2 million in net gross state product by the
year 2020. However, the Energy Center's analysis is a statistical
sleight-of-hand. The Beacon Hill Institute, an economics think tank
at Suffolk University in Boston, performed an external peer-review of
the Energy Center's study and identified several flaws in its
methodology. BHI found that the Energy Center did not accurately
quantify benefits in a way that meaningfully compares them to costs;
that they assessed costs as benefits; and that they understated the
true costs of CCS's/CAPAG's recommendations.
And elsewhere across the fruited plain today I've got an extremely long investigative report up about environmentalists' and governments' cooperative efforts to push climate alarmism and thwart oil and gas development in Colorado. I've also posted a summary of the report.
Raleigh Convention Center: Can a Buy a Vowel?
Posted by Daren Bakst at 2:59 PM
As Locker "Roomies" may know, the city of Raleigh has a brand new convention center. In a recent report, Dr. Michael Sanera and Clint Atkins did a great job analyzing the problems with this new endeavor/money pit.
Anyway, Clint and I were down at the Center last week, and noticed that
the Raleigh Convention Center sign (the sign has actual physical
letters) was missing two of the letters: R eigh Convention Center.
The very next day, here's what the sign said: R igh Convention Center. Another
letter had been taken off (i.e. probably stolen). Today, I was
down there, and the letters still haven't been replaced--the sign may have been missing another letter (I'm not sure).
The brand new convention center is already starting to look like an abandoned warehouse.
Interesting word choice
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:32 PM
Glancing at "Under the Dome," I notice that the featured quote is from Obama campaign manager David Plouffe:
The die is being cast as we speak.
If you wanted voters to believe your candidate was a centrist who respected the importance of limited government, not a demagogue who wanted to consolidate power in the hands of a massive government, would you paraphrase Julius Caesar ("Iacta alea est")? I thought not.
Are we about to face the 'End of Prosperity'?
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:14 PM
It's possible, according to a new book from Arthur "Laffer Curve" Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Peter Tanous.
Americans For Prosperity N.C. is bringing Moore to Greensboro and Raleigh tomorrow to discuss the book. Learn more here.
Carolina Journal Radio interviewed Moore on a similar topic back in April. Click play on the video clip below for a snippet of that conversation.
Read a transcript of the entire interview here.
Corrupt Massachusetts politician, party unknown
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 1:28 PM
The AP story about Dianne Wilkerson describes her as, "The Massachusetts state senator who was photographed by the FBI allegedly stuffing bribe money under her sweater has ended her write-in campaign for re-election."
Fortunately, Wikipedia has her party affiliation in its first line: "Dianne Wilkerson (born 1954) is a Democratic member of the Massachusetts Senate, representing the 2nd Suffolk District since 1993."
Corruption is not just a problem with NC Democrats, and Jon Ham has noted the pesky party ID problem before.
The mauling of Joe the Plumber
Posted by George Leef at 11:24 AM
Michelle Malkin writes here about the mauling of Joe Wurzelbacher for having objected to Obama's tax/wealth redistribution plan. In particular, all the data about Joe was obtained by pro-Obama officials in Ohio, evidently in violation of state law.
We have had vicious campaigns and dirty tricks before, but this year is much worse. The ANYTHING TO WIN tactics are far beyond mere political shenanigans.
The left went wild with what they said was righteous anger following the 2000 and 2004 elections. I think that those of us who see this election as dishonest will have good reason for anger when, a year or two from now, we're being forced into socialized health care, paying more and more in taxes, struggling with higher and higher energy costs, inflation, and so on.
The race that few care about
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 10:31 AM
I believe that the Superintendent of Public Instruction race is important because leadership is important, regardless of the meager power vested in the position.
Apparently, few agree. A Factiva search produced 23 hits for newspaper articles that mentioned both candidates (between May 6 and October 30).
Of those, only three articles focused exclusively on the race. All three were published by the News & Observer (May 7, October 11, and October 21). The remaining 20 articles included endorsements, announcements, and miscellanea.
Update: I just received an email from the NC Democratic Party explaining why voters should re-elect June Atkinson. It does not read like a message about an incumbent, probably because Democratic Party staff could not actually identify an actual accomplishment. So, I do not blame them for using words like "worked," "advocated," "supported," and "championed." They did the best they could.
I did get a kick out of this:
Imagine the day that when you cross North Carolina county lines and see a sign, '100 percent of our student graduated from high school'," June said. "Imagine the day when no student is embarrassed to read in public because of poor reading skills. Imagine the day when teachers will not need second jobs to make ends meet. Imagine the day when North Carolina is recognized as having the best public education in the world. What a vivid imagination, June!
Larry Sechrest, R.I.P.
Posted by George Leef at 10:16 AM
I just learned that Larry Sechrest, who taught economics at the small Sul Ross State University in west Texas died yesterday.
Here is a tribute.
If you read the tribute, you find out that Larry was an Austrian School economist who wrote a book on free banking (that didn't make him very famous) and who also wrote an article saying that most of the students at his school ought to be back in high school (which made him infamous).
I recommend reading his "Barbarians at the Gate" speech (link included in the tribute), which is particularly relevant right now.
Organ donation incentives
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:42 AM
Sally Satel, who received a kidney two years ago, extolls the virtue of experimenting with ways to reward people for donating organs.
Good piece by Russ Roberts -- the harm of economic activism
Posted by George Leef at 09:03 AM
Today's Wall Street Journal has this splendid pieceby GMU econ prof Russ Roberts.
He discusses the similarities between 1932 and 2008, and the harm that comes from politicians who feel compelled to play an active role in "rescuing" the economy and then controlling it so things will be better in the future. But they won't be; the steady ratcheting up of political domination of the economy (and indeed all of society) guarantees more crises.
If Obama and his leftist allies sweep the election, it probably means the completion of the project they began in 1933, namely turning the United States into another social democracy where the state holds the "commanding heights" of socio-economic power and the people have to be content with whatever scraps of liberty are left to them. Before the New Deal, the US was a country where freedom of action was the norm, with just a few spots where you had to get government permission to do what you wanted to. That's been gradually changing, but the mindset of the Obamaites seems to be that of hard-edged authoritarians who want to make government control the norm.
The socialists have succeeded in taking control of most of the world, but the US has remained outside their orbit. Capturing the US would be equivalent to taking the enemy queen in a chess game. The world's last big source of economic vitality would be smothered under a blanket of egalitarian and environmentalist controls. Then what?
With socialist health care in the US, where will Canadians go when they need operations and can't wait for their turn in the queue? For that matter, where will we go?
With entrepreneurship stifled in the US, where will new products and technologies be developed?
If the US becomes bigger version of France, where will the world's ambitious, talented people go if they're looking for freedom to succeed?
Transparency for state pensions
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:59 AM
State employees in California know pretty well the value of their state's pension fund. Too bad teachers and state employees here in North Carolina do not. Scott Mooneyham tried to find out what the candidates for state treasurer, who would be responsible for this fund, would do to improve the situation.
Janet Cowell was too offended by one of Mooneyham's earlier columns to respond. Really inspires trust that she'll be open once in office, doesn't it?
Live from Antarctica, it's brainwashing time!
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 07:38 AM
Let's say you really want public school kids to be scared out of their wits about global warming. What would be the best way to do it? A live broadcast from Antarctica would be a good place to start. Read this USA Today article for details.
New York-based nonprofit Global Nomads Group made it all possible. GNG has a number of programs designed to scare the bejeezus out of young, impressionable kids. They'll be singing "Dear Leader Obama" in no time.
According to the website, "GNG organizes programs for schools and students year round with a focus on 6 [sic] thematic areas." Areas include 1) Global Development Issues; 2) Environment and Climate Change; 3) Conflict and Human Rights; 4) Religion and Culture; 5) Health and Well-Being; 6) Sustainable Communities; and 7) Global Politics.
This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:54 AMThe future of American health care has attracted a great deal of attention during the presidential campaign (at least until the recent economic scare pushed most other issues to the backburner). In the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio, we’ll discuss consumer-driven models for improving the current health-care system. Regina Herzlinger of the Harvard Business School will offer her expertise on the topic.
Another issue that has generated recent political debate is the poorly named Employee Free Choice Act, which would scrap secret-ballot votes on worker unionization in favor of a card-check system. Gregg Thompson of the National Federation of Independent Business will explain why the legislation would hurt business in this state.
Terry Stoops will discuss a controversy involving the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ free and reduced-price lunch program, and Roy Cordato will offer an update on the global warming policies under consideration for North Carolina. Plus we’ll learn why some legislators are concerned about the “Beach Plan,” a state-mandated program tied to insurance coverage against hurricane damage.
Today's Carolina Journal Online features
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 06:45 AM
This week's Carolina Journal Online Friday interview features Donna Martinez's conversation with Roy Cordato about the John Locke Foundation's Agenda 2008.
Michael Moore's guest Daily Journal urges people to remember the history that made liberty possible in this country.
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