Wednesday, January 21, 2004


Awkward facts from Walter Williams: "46 percent of poor households actually own their homes; 76 percent have air conditioning; the typical poor American has more living space than the average non-poor individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and other cities in Europe... Here's Williams' roadmap out of poverty: complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits."

Free trade: Moral questions and partisan politics: "In the run-up to the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 19, trade policy has been one of the hottest issues. But the debate among Democratic candidates seems to revolve around who is more opposed to free trade. Voters should beware, however, that trade involves not just presidential politics but profound moral questions."

Another raid on the taxpayer by farmers: "The federal government has agreed to bail out the struggling citrus industry by buying up to $50 million worth of orange juice. The news was welcomed by Florida orange growers who are facing shrinking prices caused by their largest crop ever. Florida is the source of most of the nation's orange juice and is the world's second-largest orange producer behind Brazil."

Iraq to receive flat tax : "The citizens of Iraq will receive a tax reform gift in 2004, compliments of the U.S. government. 'That's because the Iraqis will enjoy something we don't -- a simple and fair tax system,' said Daniel J. Mitchell, the McKenna Fellow in political economy at The Heritage Foundation. 'Beginning in January, all Iraqis will pay a flat tax of 15 percent.'"

Amazing -- Leftist admiration for Hitler -- because he was the first "Keynesian": "As Cockburn writes, "Hitler, genocidal monster that he was, was also the first practicing Keynesian leader. ... There were vast public works, such as the autobahns. He paid little attention to the deficit or to the protests of the bankers about his policies. ... By 1936, unemployment had sunk to 1 percent."

Leftists like Keynes because he said that, in a recession, governments can spend more than they raise in tax. They usually "forget" Keynes's "in a recession" limitation, however.


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