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OpenMarket: October 2008

  • What ever happened to cut-throat politics?

    October 8, 2008

    There has been a lot of talk lately about regulators “working together” to get things done in Washington. Reaching across the aisle.  Compromise.

    Personally, I have a policy of voting for the politician whom I think will be the most ineffectual and divisive in Washington, because frankly, the more they get done, the more damage they inevitably will do. I point to the bailout for a recent example of why it is better to have a deeply divided congress (preferably, ideologically divided) and querulous in order to prevent bad ideas from becoming bad policy. If the members of congress in favor of less government and freer markets (they used to be called Republicans) had opposed those seeking to make our economy more socialist this bill never would have passed. Thanks to compromise however, we...

  • The World is About to End ... Again!

    October 8, 2008
    Climate alarmists are in good company.  After all, for centuries at least, and probably since the beginning of humanity, some people have worried about the imminent end of civilization.  Modern environmentalists are a skittish lot, and tend to see doom and gloom around most every corner.  The Capital Research Center's www.greenwatch.org has generated the "Doom List," cataloguing recent prophecies of imminent trouble, if not disaster. One of my favorite comes from the ever-busy Al Gore, who once heroically battled to solve the trash crisis.  Reports CRC:
    Al Gore was once a...
  • The Wonders of Socialized Health Care, Number 8,977

    October 8, 2008
    Ameirca's health care system is messed up.  Agreed.  It is a bizarre amalgam of public and private, with government spending and tax policy creating counterproductive incentives which have created an employer-based system of health insurance that has tended towards cost-plus medicine.  But while U.S. medical treatment tends to be expensive as a result, it is available.  Not so in the foreign systems so often lauded by health care 'reformers" in America. The website www.biggovhealth.org helps remind us that the wrong sort of "reform" in America could leave us all far worse off.  It includes a list of case histories of people victimized by nationalized health care systems.  Consider the case of Lindsay McCreith, for instance, who almost certainly would have died had the Canadian not jumped the queue, so to speak, by coming to...
  • Close Seven-Eleven! Save the Planet!

    October 8, 2008
    Japanese cities are dotted with Seven-Eleven stores, which typically are open 24 hours.  They are wonderfully convenient.  In September I attended a Mont Pelerin Society conference in Tokyo, and the nearby seven-eleven allowed me to satisfy my Diet Coke and chocolate (drinking the first allowed me to eat the second, at least so I rationalized!) cravings at all hours. But now pressure is growing to close the stores down to ... stop global warming! Reports Japan Today:
    “Hey, this is no joke!” exclaims Weekly Playboy (July 14). No indeed. The city of Kyoto is playing with fire. In June, in a bid to reduce greenhouse gases and perhaps become a nationally designated “model environmental city,” the municipal government indicated it would request...
  • Obama denigrates Delaware in debate

    October 8, 2008
    Poor little Delaware. In every presidential election since 1992, she has been in the "blue" column voting for the Democratic candidate. She has long had a Democratic governor. Although she is represented at large by moderate GOP Rep. Michael Castle in the U.S. House, her Senate representation has been 100 percent Democrat since Tom Carper defeated the late Sen. William Roth in 2000. And of course, her other U.S. Senator, Joe Biden, is now the Democratic Party's vice presidential candidate. Yet this didn't prevent this bluest of blue states from getting a thrashing in Tuesday night's debate from none other than the Democratic Party front-runner, Barack Obama. In a strange, little-noticed tangent that Obama got onto in responding to a health care question and attacking opponent John McCain for being a deregulator in every policy area (...
  • In Goldman Sachs We Trust?

    October 8, 2008
    In the current issue of the Capital Research Center's newsletter Foundation Watch, Fred Lucas looks into the historically cozy relationship that finance giant Goldman Sachs has enjoyed with the highest levels of government, and the expanding influence the firm is poised to exert amid the present financial turmoil.
    In recent years the powerhouse bank Goldman Sachs has supplied Treasury secretaries to both Republican and Democratic administrations. A Goldman veteran serves as President Bush's chief of staff, while one runs the New York Stock Exchange and another lives in the New Jersey governor's mansion. Its politics skew left, and as the company's competitors on Wall Street go belly up, Goldman, a friend of Big Government, remains profitable and its infl uence grows.
    Lucas also...
  • More Bailouts on the Way

    October 8, 2008
    At last night's debate, Senator McCain floated a horrible idea: to have the government buy up bad mortgages and then write off part of the mortgage and reduce the interest rate so that delinquent borrowers can afford to keep living in their pricey homes.  During the debate, Senator Obama seemed to agree with this stupid idea, pointing with approval to the fact that the bailout bills he supported already permit this to a limited extent.   His only objection seemed to be that McCain was hogging credit for this awful proposal for himself.  However, Obama later raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers of McCain's proposal. Michelle Malkin explains why this is a...
  • Global Warming Alarmists Want Entire World to Become Cuba

    October 8, 2008
    If you looked around the world today, you probably wouldn't say the top problem was people eating too much meat and drinking too much milk.  But you wouldn't have counted on the alarmists who believe the world is just a few years away from burning up.  Some of them want to drastically cut meat and milk consumption--making the rest of us live the way the Cuban government makes its people live, though for ideological rather than environmental reasons. Reports Investor's Business Daily:
    Basing its recommendation on the theory that the greenhouse gases emitted by meat and dairy production are principal contributors to global warming, the Food Climate Research Network, operating out of the University of Surrey, strongly suggests that meat and milk consumption in developed countries be...
  • Hank Paulson's Phishing Scheme

    October 8, 2008
    From ACU's new issue of Battleline. ACU board member Joe Morris contributes an email from our new economic Czar:
    My Dear American Friend Issue 117 - October 8, 2008 MY DEAR AMERICAN FRIEND: I AM NEEDING TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT...
  • Shock, Shock ... the Climate Catastrophe Lobby is Telling Fibs

    October 8, 2008
    This undoubtedly will shock readers, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a tendency to shade the truth.  And only in one direction.  It seems ... drumroll, please! ... that the member governments have their own agendas and aren't above lying to the people to achieve their ends. With activists and politicians continuing to push draconian energy control schemes even with no net increase in temperature over the past decade, it is ever more important for the public to understand the myths being presented as facts. The article is a bit old, but is worth rereading.  Writing from Bali, Christopher Monckton, who contribiuted to the 2007 IPCC report, explained:
    As a contributor to the IPCC's 2007 report, I share the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. Yet I and many of my peers in the British...

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