Monday, December 25, 2006


To all who come by here. And let us reflect thankfully on our Judeo-Christian heritage which mandated kindness and impartial justice (Exodus 23), among many other things.



If Trade Surpluses are So Great, the 1930s Should Have Been a Booming Decade: "The incessant fretting over the U.S. trade deficit is unwarranted. As I point out (probably too) often, the trade deficit, along with its broader cousin, the current-account deficit, are no cause for concern. Earlier today I visited the National Bureau of Economic Research's Macrohistory Database. I clicked on Chapter 7 and then looked at the value of U.S. imports and the value of U.S. exports for each of the 120 months during the 1930s. Turns out that for only 18 of the 120 months of that dreary decade did the United States run a trade deficit (that is, imported more, value-wise, than it exported). For each of the remaining 102 months of the decade of the 1930s the U.S. ran a trade surplus."

Farm subsidy stupidity: ""The very policies touted by Congress as a way to save small family farms are instead helping to accelerate their demise, economists, analysts and farmers say. That's because owners of large farms receive the largest share of government subsidies. They often use the money to acquire more land, pushing aside small and medium-size farms as well as young farmers starting out."

The corn is as high as the subsidy's aye: "The price of corn shot up during the last months of 2006. Corn sold for $2 per bushel at the beginning of 2006, and by the end of the year, the price had zoomed to $3.75. It's not that folks are eating more corn on the cob. The rising demand has come from the increased production of ethanol, the ethyl alcohol fuel made from corn. The higher corn price affects all uses of corn, so the cost of food will also be rising. Chicken, pork, and beef will become more expensive, as well as corn for eating by human beings. Stock up on canned corn while it is still relatively cheap. Corn is also made into a syrup that is used to sweeten food and drinks, so those prices will also be rising. So what about the ethanol? Will fuel made from corn reduce dependency on oil and reduce air pollution? Or is it a subsidy due to the political clout of corn farmers?"

More government follies: ""Politicians . . . have joined a host of interest groups from across the political spectrum that are pressing for changes in government assistance to agriculture. They want the money moved from large farmers to conservation, nutrition, rural development and energy research. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, for example, favors programs that improve environmental practices on farms." [Why can't the government just get out of farming? The Soviets showed how wise about farming governments are]

Nike Ends Labor Contract with Supplier Over Child Labor Concerns: "By severing its contract with Saga, Nike is likely to score moral points with its customers in the West. But it's also likely, observers agree, to sink Saga, a corporate giant that makes about 6 million of Pakistan's annual production of 40-million soccer balls. Saga estimates that as many as 20,000 families could be affected, since 70 percent of the local market relies on them for work."

Bad politics at a minimum: "It's a cliche of politics that the name of a proposed bill or initiative depends largely on its name. (More on this later.) It's also a cliche now that free market advocates expecting Republicans to control the growth of government shows the triumph of hope over experience, but these days the Bush Administration doesn't seem to even pretend to fight. On Wednesday, the President announced that he would support a hike in the federal minimum wage ..."


Brookes News Update

Will the US dollar collapse?: The US dollar is having a hard time of it. But why is this so? Why has the dollar been falling? The basic argument is that the trade deficit is unsustainable and is driving down the dollar. But this does not tell us what is driving the deficits
The Australian economy, falling productivity and recession: It's understandable that Howard should feel satisfaction with the current course of the Australian economy, particularly in the area of unemployment. Unfortunately he neglected to mention Australia's declining productivity. On this question the Government was sold a phony bill of goods
The Republican dilemma: No ideas: The Democrats and the media are lying to the public about social security. While they enjoy the benefits of personal accounts (Thrift Savings Plan) they have sabotaged attempts to deny the American public the benefits of the same savings scheme. Better to be poor and a Democrat than wealthy and independent
Australian Keynesianism, spending and inflation: Rightwing bloggers should learn that though mocking Keynesians is an easy task, actually refuting them is a very different matter
America: Muslims' Heaven on Earth: As an article of faith, Islam considers all non-Muslims, even the so-called People of the Book, as infidels - people who are to be subjugated or cleansed from Allah's earth
Black activists condemn Senator Leahy's promised judicial obstructionism: Senator Leahy criticized President Bush for his efforts to keep tabs on suspected terrorists, and threatened to frustrate the President's constitutional right to appoint federal judges
President Bush's tax cuts and the Democrats' economic illiteracy: Filthy rich Democrats like Pelosi, Kerry and Kennedy need to explain why tax cuts that promote capital formation and raise real wages and living standards manage to benefit only the rich



Brazil's Mussolini: "Brazil's air force said it will use eight of its passenger jets to fly civilians on domestic routes, responding to a presidential order to aid holiday passengers stranded by overbooked and cancelled flights. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the air force to "make all means of aerial transport available" on an emergency basis to complement commercial flights as long delays and overcrowded flights snarled holiday travel across Latin America's largest country. The Air Force Command said in a statement that it would make two Boeing 707s, two Boeing 737s and four Embraer EMB-145s available for flights between Brasilia, the nation's capital, and the country's two largest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The Air Force's expenses will be paid for by commercial airlines, which have been dogged by mechanical problems, bad weather and a protest by air-traffic controllers, resulting in nightmares for travelers at the country's airports. Ticket sales by the nation's biggest airline, TAM Linhas Aereas SA, were halted today until the long delays and overcrowded flights are brought under control, aviation officials said. The suspension of sales by TAM airlines will remain in effect "until the effective departure of all the passengers on each flight," the National Agency of Civil Aviation, or ANAC, said in a statement"



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

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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