Audio Clips

20 November 2010

Big Education Continues to Grow

The Washington Post had an article about the pay of college executives. Just 6 years ago there wasn't a single college president making over $1 million. Today there are 30. You know, eventually it's going to get to the point, if it hasn't already, where parents are going to have to ask whether the return on investment for going to these universities is worthwhile.

The Children Are the Victims

Kay Hymowitz has written a great article about the damage that happens to children when their parents break up. The damage continues to worsen with every transition their parents put them through. That is, everytime their parent bring a new boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife into the picture the problems deepen for those kids. I can't stress enough how valuable it is for kids to have a stable home life. We, as parents, are not doing our kids any favors by thinking of ourselves first. We're practically guaranteeing them a life of misery if we don't work on our marriages.

Rationing is Mandatory in Government-Run Health Care

William Falk has unintentionally highlighted the problem with government-run health care. If we put the federal government in charge we eliminate the ability of an individual or family to make decisions for themselves. If the government is the final arbiter of what can or cannot be paid for then our health care options are left to the whims of a faceless bureaucrat and the corporations or groups that successfully lobby them. That doesn't seem like an option that expands our freedoms.

18 November 2010

In Defense of Pay-Day Lending



Look, the reality is that there is significant risk to the lender in making these loans. That risk HAS to be offset by higher costs to the loan recipient. There are certain fixed costs of running a business that these pay-day lenders can't get around and if they were charging 6% interest on $300 loans they would go out of business and that doesn't serve the people who need their services. No one is being forced into a contract with a gun to their head here. The government shouldn't be involved in dictating terms of contracts. The government's role is to enforce contract law, not dictate the terms.

Raw Foods Are a Threat to National Security!

Really? The government is allowed to tell us what we can eat? Is that the kind of world you want to live in? If you don't want the FDA telling you what to eat send them an email at consumer@fda.gov or call them at (888)723-3366.



16 November 2010

Best Trick Play Ever?

Positive Sum Game

Bill Gates makes a great argument for free trade and not worrying about other countries improving their capabilities and economies. It doesn't hurt us to have other countries prosper.

Energy innovation is not a nationalistic game. If tomorrow some other country invented cheap energy with no CO2 output, would that be a bad day or a good day? For anybody who's reasonable, that would be, like, the best day ever. If all you care about is America's relative position, every day since the end of World War II has really been bad for you. So when somebody says to me, "Oh, the Chinese are helping to lower the cost of it, or creating something that emits less CO2," I say, "Great." The Chinese are also working on new drugs. When your children get sick, they might be able to take those drugs.

Sarah Palin vs. Ronald Reagan

Peggy Noonan wrote a great article about Sarah Palin constantly invoking Ronald Reagan. Sarah Palin seems oblivious to the fact that, unlike her, Ronald Reagan actually had a track record that was enviable and a history of successful, intelligent writings about conservative philosophy. I cannot for the life of me figure out why so many conservatives are wild about Sarah Palin. Sure, she seems like a nice person who has tried to raise a good family, but she is not qualified to be President and she is not who we should be turning to to find out who to vote for.

I've included an excerpt from Peggy Noonan's editorial below.

The tea party provided the fire and passion of the election, and helped produce major wins—Marco Rubio by 19 points! But in the future the tea party is going to have to ask itself: is this candidate electable? Will he pass muster with those who may not themselves be deeply political but who hold certain expectations as to the dignity and stature required of those who hold office?

This is the key question the tea party will face in 2012. And it will be hard to answer it, because the tea party doesn't have leaders or conventions, so the answer will have to bubble up from a thousand groups, from 10,000leaders.

Electable doesn't mean not-conservative. Electable means mature, accomplished, stable—and able to persuade.

Conservatives talked a lot about Ronald Reagan this year, but they have to take him more to heart, because his example here is a guide. All this seemed lost last week on Sarah Palin, who called him, on Fox, "an actor." She was defending her form of policical celebrity—reality show, "Dancing With the Stars," etc. This is how she did it: "Wasn't Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn't he in 'Bedtime for Bonzo,' Bozo, something? Ronald Reagan was an actor."

Excuse me, but this was ignorant even for Mrs. Palin. Reagan people quietly flipped their lids, but I'll voice their consternation to make a larger point. Ronald Reagan was an artist who willed himself into leadership as president of a major American labor union (Screen Actors Guild, seven terms, 1947-59.) He led that union successfully through major upheavals (the Hollywood communist wars, labor-management struggles); discovered and honed his ability to speak persuasively by talking to workers on the line at General Electric for eight years; was elected to and completed two full terms as governor of California; challenged and almost unseated an incumbent president of his own party; and went on to popularize modern conservative political philosophy without the help of a conservative infrastructure. Then he was elected president.

The point is not "He was a great man and you are a nincompoop," though that is true. The point is that Reagan's career is a guide, not only for the tea party but for all in politics. He brought his fully mature, fully seasoned self into politics with him. He wasn't in search of a life when he ran for office, and he wasn't in search of fame; he'd already lived a life, he was already well known, he'd accomplished things in the world.

Here is an old tradition badly in need of return: You have to earn your way into politics. You should go have a life, build a string of accomplishments, then enter public service. And you need actual talent: You have to be able to bring people in and along. You can't just bully them, you can't just assert and taunt, you have to be able to persuade.

Americans don't want, as their representatives, people who seem empty or crazy. They'll vote no on that.

It's not just the message, it's the messenger.