Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Astute Blogger has a good short post on the idiocy of farm subsidies -- pointing out that when New Zealand abandoned its subsidies, it actually gave New Zealand agriculture a new lease of life.

Lawsuit industry has hurt America "Americans are concerned about where the good jobs are going to come from -- and about their health coverage. These are understandable concerns. They should prompt voters to take a closer look at which would-be presidential administration is likely to take the nation in which direction. One of the things that is clearly hurting American manufacturing is litigation. Not only must U.S. companies compete in a tough world marketplace, they must constantly defend themselves here at home."

The aging "problem": "While the pessimists fret about the problems to come as if ageing is some new challenge, they ignore the fact that this has been a remarkably constant feature of industrialised countries since the latter part of the nineteenth century, and societies have had no difficulties 'coping' with it in the past.

Health, wealth and happiness : "How do we know when we're happy? Strange as it may seem, this philosophical question could come back to haunt you one April 15. Psychologists and 'happiness researchers' are using the finding that Calcutta slum-dwellers and Masai nomads are as happy as American businessmen to argue not only that wealth doesn't necessarily make you happy, but that this shows that investment in economic growth should be replaced by social programs. The trouble is that one conclusion doesn't necessarily lead to the other." [See also my post of Sept. 14th]

UK invents another way to discourage people from employing anybody: ""The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, is attempting to block a new law that would punish negligent employers with heavy fines or imprisonment in cases of deaths or injury at work. The Guardian has obtained details of a letter sent by Mr Straw 10 days ago to John Prescott, deputy prime minister and chair of the domestic affairs cabinet committee. In it, the foreign secretary casts doubt on the need to create a new crime of corporate manslaughter. ... The unexpected intervention into a domestic controversy will infuriate trades unions which have been campaigning for the reform for many years. The commitment for a draft bill was a cornerstone of the agreement between the government and unions reached at this summer's crucial Warwick forum."

What's the answer for high gasoline prices? Nothing: "What, if anything, should government do about the sustained increase in gasoline prices? Not a thing. For both practical and theoretical reasons, politicians and regulators should resist the temptation to monkey around with fuel markets. No matter how well intentioned, intervention to protect consumers will only make matters worse."

Stupid socialists: "A wave of regulation is burdening Britain's financial services industry and threatening its ability to compete internationally, the UK's biggest business group has said. In the next two years, more than 20 European Union measures will be imposed on companies, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said in a report on Monday. The CBI called for a moratorium on new rules, to let firms concentrate on their businesses. "Companies are being battered by the impact of relentless new legislation," CBI Deputy Director John Cridland said in a statement. "It's forcing a dramatic and wasteful diversion of effort away from the daily battle to keep the UK ahead of its competitors." Britain's finance industry employs more than 1 million people and contributes 5.3 percent to gross domestic product, the CBI said."


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