Saturday, April 16, 2011

On The Lighter Side

Sarah Palin goes to Madison, Wisconsin and takes on the loony leftist thugs who try to shout her down. Notice that Romney, Gingrich, and Trump have not worked up the courage to do the same. Nor were they present during the "death panel " debate. Forget the mess that is this country for ten minutes and enjoy two singers from the past who despite being in their seventies have astounding voices and seem to be most comfortable at the top of their respective ranges. I give you Narvel Felts and Jim Glaser.

Let Them Manipulate!!!

It would be a different world if we taught economics in the public schools. I suppose there would still be the clash of Monetarists and Keynsians but we would not be in the constant state of Babble such as is our public discourse.

I believe the single most significant metric for economic success is strength of currency. Strength of currency vs. other currencies. Strength of currency vs. gold and silver. Strength of currency vs. commodities.

So I am not bothered by news that China is "manipulating" their currency. In other words, they are out Bernanking Bernanke. This is "Dumb and Dumber" played out by world titans. I expect the NPR crowd to fall for the non-tragedy (unless their true loyalties are to the People's Republic, a possibility we must consider) but it scares me when Donald Trump and Lou Dobbs complain about this.

In essence, the Chinese officials act against their people's best interest to make their citizens feel wealthier. In the process, those of us who purchase Chinese products (I plead guilty) get more for their dollar (or Euro. Or Peso. Or Pound.) At the same time, they are making the rest of the world slightly more wealthy. We can purchase discount sneakers even as gas and oil and commodities go through the roof. Last fall I purchased four sets of Starters at Walmart for $9/pair. I am sure sneakers are a little more now but I doubt if sneaker prices are rising in tandem with oil prices.

There are a few lessons that we can draw from the manipulation scare but one stands out. Even those people who share a better than average understanding of economics can be tripped up by simple concepts. Beware the fiscal conservative who does not understand the merits and demerits of currency strength. It does not matter how much cash they might have in their mattresses. If they are not committed to a strong dollar (and the devaluing of rival currencies) then we might as well stick with Obama and Geithner and Bernanke.

Manipulate, China. Please, please manipulate!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Overt Dishonesty, Intellectual Dishonesty, Willful Omissions and Half-Truths

I did not always dislike Barack Obama. He seemed unworthy of contempt. He's a puppet. It makes no sense to dislike the puppet. Submit your grievances to the writer of scripts and the puller of strings. Take it up with Edgar Bergen, not Mortimer Snerd.

But over time it has become easy to dislike BHO. I dislike the way he looks down his nose at the audience as he tells us how damn clever he happens to be. Yes, he is arrogant. And yes, I know MSNBC has classified the arrogant label as racist. If you want to figure out their logic be my guest.

Arrogant. Smug. Condescending. That last quality might be his most definitive trait. No one oozes the "I am better than you" affect like BHO. Not even Matt Damon can hang with Obama in the self love department.

We look for and excuse a certain level of vanity from our leaders. It goes with the territory. Donald Trump is hard for me to stomach. But sins of style are venial, even when taken to an Obama extreme. Chronic dishonesty is harder to dismiss.

I was driving through the streets of Lynn, Masschusetts when I picked up BHO's speech on the radio. The setting seemed appropriate for some reason. Howie Carr, the local radio legend, used to host an annual "Worst City in Massachusetts" contest. One year he retired Lynn so as to give other Massachusetts cities a chance. An appropriate setting indeed.

Obama did not disappoint. He immediately stated that some people (or was it some folks? I forget now.) are opposed to any tax increase "as an article of faith." The article of faith. NPR used to love to submit their audience to that sniper and I never heard it challenged. I doubt if it ever was.

This is intellectual dishonesty in the extreme. The merits of low taxation can be demonstrated empirically. What example do you want to use? Eastern Europe vs. Western Europe post Iron Curtain? Eastern Europe post Iron Curtain vs. Iron Curtain Europe? Texas vs. Californiain the 21st Century? There are dozens of models we can use but the results seem to always be the same. The people with the lower taxes prosper more than their neighbors or predecessors or descendents who pay higher taxes. I am still waiting for just one instance where higher taxes brought prosperity.

This is the perfect illustration of leftist intellectual dishonesty. Free market advocates with all of their data and all of their evidence are dismissed as fundamentalists. But it is the leftists who are the fundamentalists and they are fearful of holding up economics to the light of reason because they fear the truth. The truth scares them more than anything in the whole world.

We could pick apart Obama's inaccuries (I feel a sudden wave of polite understatement)in his early bird campaign speech. 50 million people lose their health insurance in a tsunami of service denials. Autistic kids suffer. People die. On and on and on. And his numbers are pure rubber. But why even bother to point out his falsehoods at this point? BHO might be the least honest politician we have ever seen. Bar none.

Yes, it is sad that our president cannot speak honestly about anything. And it is sadder still that the lap dog media will stop at nothing to portray this buffoon in a favorable light. But saddest of all are the vast legions of Kool Aid drinkers who celebrate self-deception and practice it as their chosen lifestyle.

They are not as vocal or as numerous as they used to be but there are still tens of millions of Americans who accept and even respect chronic dishonesty. I suppose if one adopts delusion as a way of life then one might celebrate the masters of deception and submit to public liars as one's rightful overlords. We are all Jonestown now.

It's raining Kool Aid.