Somewhat in reply to T. Paine’s comment on the last post, it occurred to us that we Americans are not hedonists, and here is the proof. Thank goodness...
...we are so thrifty that practically everyone could manage three months of unemployment;
...hardly anyone is overextended on credit cards;
...we didn’t recently bid up housing prices with easy credit, resulting in a foreclosure frenzy;
...the bankruptcy rate is falling like water, not rising like smoke from a bonfire;
...we never demand more from our government than the government can afford;
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
|Battle of Lexington, by Nicholas Ponce.|
Picture credit: Library of Congress.
Posted by CONSVLTVS at 1:00 AM
Sunday, April 17, 2011
|Wealth of Nations. Photo by the author.|
Thursday, April 14, 2011
All the current budget talk has brought to mind a bit of history. Our fellow Skeptical Conservative, Sub Specie Æternitatis, has an interest in the British historian Thomas Babington Macaulay. Years ago, we ran across a couple of letters by Lord Macaulay on American institutions. The letters had been published in Harper’s magazine in the 19th century, and they pointed to the signal danger of any pure democracy. In every society there are always comparatively few people with great wealth, but in a pure democracy those people are the natural prey of the comparatively less well-off majority. Macaulay referred to the danger of “spoliation.”
Monday, April 11, 2011
Now that the deal is done, some are lamenting that the Speaker of the House may have got less than he should. They argue that by stating his early opposition to a government shutdown he gave away his final bargaining chip. For perspective, imagine that you go into a car dealership and announce that you aren’t leaving without buying a new car. All the salesman has to do then is stick to his price until closing time.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
All around the media these days we are hearing—especially from apologists for compromising with the fiscal irresponsibility crowd—the formula, “after all, we only control one-half of one-third of the government.” Of course, of the three branches of government, only two are involved in legislation. True, activist judges routinely make law as they supposedly interpret it, but the courts have no part of the process of passing a bill. It might be better to say, “after all, we only control one-half of one-half of the government.” Fair enough, only a fifth grade fractions teacher would appreciate the difference between one-sixth and one-quarter, but it’s nonetheless irritating to see a strictly inaccurate comment gain so much momentum.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
This morning on CNN there was a federal employee being interviewed who said that if the government shuts down she won’t have money to buy food for her daughter. At first, one thought shame on CNN for exploiting a human tragedy to advance a liberal agenda. But then the lightning struck. People working in the private sector live with the possibility of layoffs every day of their lives. They know they have to keep three months’ income in the bank to cover emergencies. By contrast, this public sector employee had apparently not planned for any disruption in pay, any furlough or layoff or even just reduction in hours. Why not?
Sunday, April 3, 2011
|Ancient Mariner and Mercury. Photo credit: NASA.|