Monthly Archives: December 2012

The US will be Greece, it is inevitable

Our Federal debt and deficit problems are the result of a tragedy of the commons. As the commons grows the tragedy will get worse and there is nothing in our political system, i.e. it is not inherently in anyone’s interest, to stop the growth of the commons. The fiscal cliff “debate” is a side show.Continue Reading

The Community Reinvestment Act’s role in the housing bubble

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Hans Bader writes here about a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research that forcefully says (unusually so in academic papers) that the CRA played a major role in pushing lending institutions to write mortgages they otherwise would not have. Bader’s article also goes into the many other waysContinue Reading

Lobbying isn’t always bad

That’s because, as Tim Carney explains in this Washington Examiner piece, lobbying sometimes defeats other lobbying, leaving taxpayers with one less needless subsidy to pay for. Alas, such counter-lobbying doesn’t always work but more importantly, the resources wasted in the whole game of seeking government favors and trying to defeat such favor seeking is huge.Continue Reading

Pro-gun leftist explains why an ‘assault weapons’ ban doesn’t work

It’s a long article but well worth the read. It goes into the arbitrary definitions of “assault weapons,” the incredible rareness of the actual problem despite its sensational nature, the problem of perception and media portrayals, the Achilles’ heel of restricting magazine capacity, the question of grandfathering, and the ineffectiveness (except in making people feelContinue Reading

O’Rourke zings Obama’s zero-sum thinking

P.J. O’Rourke devotes a new Wall Street Journal column to the problems associated with President Obama’s “zero-sum” view of the world. [T]he worst thing that you’ve done internationally is what you’ve done domestically. You sent a message to America in your re-election campaign. Therefore you sent a message to the world. The message is thatContinue Reading

Stossel focuses on the role of private charity

In the season of gift-giving and year-end charitable contributions, you might appreciate John Stossel‘s latest column. Private charity is unquestioningly better than government efforts to help people. Government squanders money. Charities sometime squander money, too, but they usually don’t. Proof of the superiority of private over government efforts is everywhere. Catholic charities do a betterContinue Reading

Barone compares the 2004 and 2012 elections

As much as President Obama’s strongest supporters dislike Obama’s predecessor, they’re unlikely to enjoy Michael Barone‘s latest column about the similarities between the 2004 and 2012 elections. Both of the elections involved incumbent presidents with approval ratings hovering around or just under 50 percent facing challengers who were rich men from Massachusetts (though one madeContinue Reading

Henninger ends 2012 on a cheery note

If you’re looking for an uplifting message about what lies ahead for 2013, skip Daniel Henninger‘s latest column for the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, a reality has become too obvious for the world’s dazed inhabitants not to notice: The greatest threat to the upward arc of human progress is the collapse of public policy making.Continue Reading