Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why have I put a picture of GWB at the top of my blog? It is NOT because I totally agree with him. His big government policies are completely antithetical to my libertarian views. I have just put the picture there as a counterweight to the Leftists who deride this thoroughly responsible, moderate and decent man as "Chimpoleon" etc.


Sad to see that Ireland is slipping back into economic Fascism: "Ireland is commonly regarded around the world as a shining example of private markets at work. Yet, unnoticed by many, over the last five years, the country has been sliding into the abyss of rising government spending, indirect tax increases and more regulation and state involvement in the economy.... The whole premise of the European social model based on partnership agreements over wages, including the one practiced in Ireland, is supposed to ensure that the state protects the worker interests. This stated objective of the European corporatist model is not supported by the hard evidence. In fact, the cumulative wage growth in the US since 1996 was 55.7 percent - a full 24.6 percent higher than labor productivity gains alone, making US workers the greatest beneficiaries of total productivity growth. For the Eurozone, the cumulative wage growth was just 24.2 percent as opposed to 44.6 percent in the group of flexible labor market economies. Thus, less partnership-driven economies saw greater gains to workers, while more corporatist economies saw greater returns accruing to the capital owners - hardly the evidence in support of the "caring partnership" vision of our Taoiseach" [Prime Minister].

Friedman on Germany: "At the moment, of course, Germany cannot get out of the euro. What it has to do, therefore, is make the economy more flexible-to eliminate the restrictions on prices, on wages and on employment; in short, the regulations that keep 10 percent of the German workforce unemployed. This is far more urgent than it would otherwise be if Germany were not in the euro. This set of policies would open up the German potential. After all, Germany has a very able and productive workforce. It has high-quality products that are valued all over the world. It has every opportunity to be a productive, growing state. It just has to give its entrepreneurs a chance. It has to let them make money, hire and fire, and act like entrepreneurs."

The politics of economic nationalism : "The rhetoric of economic nationalism is scattered throughout this year's Economic Report of the President, and it pervades policy discussions among politicians and in the press. It comes so naturally that we hardly even notice it -- I'm sure I've slipped into it myself. So it's important to point out how unnatural it really is. ... Nationalism about the economy is a marketing tool for politicians, and it leads to loss of freedom and responsibility, with enormous quantities of resources channeled through government."

Is free trade really wrecking the union?: "The case for free trade really isn't about jobs at all, but rather living standards. In a free labor market, wages and salaries would adjust until all who wanted to work (at the prevailing market rates) could do so. In such a scenario, dropping tariffs wouldn't create jobs, it would merely shift workers from less to more productive lines. Now it's true, in our heavily taxed and regulated labor market, a worker needs to possess a minimum productivity to make him employable, and thus if his productivity goes up (because of free trade) then he is more likely to pass this threshold, so in that sense one could argue that free trade leads to net job growth. But I just wanted to correct the popular misconception that the case for free trade concerns jobs."



There is an amusing article here by a Muslim that holds out India as an example of Muslims and non-Muslims all getting along peacefully together. I guess most Indian writers might be reluctant to puncture that balloon but it is of course the most colossal nonsense. "Communal" (Hindu/Muslim) riots and violent clashes are endemic in India. Even Mahatma Gandhi could not stop it. It is true that Hindus and Mussulmen do get along in everyday life in India after a fashion but in India religion is a deadly serious matter. Reincarnation, for instance, is central to how a Hindu understands the world he lives in. If India has not produced Jihadis who go abroad to kill and maim, it is only because Indian Muslims have the more immediate worry of their Hindu neighbours.

The underlying Muslim problem: "It is my belief that a substantial part of what drives Islamism is a cultural dysfunction broadly defined by a terrible fear of sexuality resulting in a vile hatred of women. In other words, the awesome power of female sexuality scares the daylights out of fundamentalist Muslims. My theory might explain why Islamist suicide bombers often wrap their penises in tinfoil so that it's still usable -- ready to deflower (subtext: despoil) virgins galore after Allah supposedly greets what's left of them in "Paradise." My theory might also explain why situational (prison-style) homosexuality, though officially punishable by death, is widespread in the fundamentalist Muslim world. It certainly explains why the practice of forced clitoridectomy; the destruction of a woman's clitoris, is rampant in the Arab Muslim world."

Tony Blair's "Enabling Act" (On March 23 of 1933, Hitler got the German parliament to pass a similar Act): "Some have called it the Henry VIII bill; one MP thought Stalin would be a more appropriate dictator to put his name to it. A leading academic refers to it as the "abolition of parliament bill". You get the point. The bill's real title is bland and boring to the point of soporific, which may be why it hasn't been much noticed; but underneath the benign facade of the legislative and regulatory reform bill lurks a machinery that would give the government the power to pass far-reaching laws without the bother of getting the approval of parliament. On the surface, the bill is aimed at removing regulatory burdens on business by using short-cut procedures which wouldn't require parliamentary debate. The same process would also put into law uncontroversial recommendations by Britain's law commissions, the government's legal thinktanks. All that seems not only reasonable, but positively helpful to the efficiency of law-making. But look again, and Henry VIII comes into the picture. What the government has inserted into the bill is a way of allowing laws to be passed by a minister's order, which bypasses parliament altogether.... It will become possible for the government, by ministerial order, without a debate in parliament, to create new criminal offences, punishable with less than two years imprisonment. It could also, according to Cambridge law professor John Spencer (who is not alone in his analysis), introduce house-arrest, give the police stronger powers of arrest and interrogation, set up new courts, and in effect re-write the rules on immigration, nationality, divorce, inheritance and the appointment of judges."

Extraordinary! "Wearing vests covered in military patches, a band of motorcyclists rolls around the country from one soldier's funeral to another, cheering respectfully to overshadow jeers from church protesters. They call themselves the Patriot Guard Riders, and they are more than 5,000 strong, forming to counter anti-gay protests held by the Rev. Fred Phelps at military funerals. Phelps believes American deaths in Iraq are divine punishment for a country that he says harbors homosexuals. His protesters carry signs thanking God for so-called IEDs -- explosives that are a major killer of soldiers in Iraq. The bikers shield the families of dead soldiers from the protesters, and overshadow the jeers with patriotic chants and a sea of red, white and blue flags. "The most important thing we can do is let families know that the nation cares," said Don Woodrick, the group's Kentucky captain. "When a total stranger gets on a motorcycle in the middle of winter and drives 300 miles to hold a flag, that makes a powerful statement.""

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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