From December, 2014

Quote of the Day

All of us in the world should recognize that we have the same inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we recognize in our own society. We should promote those ideals. And that means a big change in thinking about how development happens. Greater political freedom in Asia – in Taiwan and South Korea – has been associated with rapid economic growth. The level of freedom determines the level of prosperity. There’s a lot of misunderstanding on both the left and the right about markets. The right has the conception that markets just mean firms can…

Behold the Fruits of a Chavista Economy

Venezuela’s economy has gone into recession. The gory details: In a statement, the bank said GDP contracted 4.8 percent in the first quarter, versus the same period of last year, then it fell a further 4.9 percent in the second quarter and shrank 2.3 percent in the third quarter. The statement added that 12-month inflation, which is the highest in the Americas, reached 63.6 percent in November. The central bank statement, confirming an economic contraction widely forecast by analysts, came just before President Nicolas Maduro was about to start a news conference in which he was expected to announce economic…

Trade Police and a Chance for Bipartisanship

Here’s hoping that Republicans work with the White House to bring about true and lasting trade liberalization, which can propel further economic growth. For far too long, trade pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership have languished in negotiations, and as the story points out, Republicans can help bring those negotiations to a successful conclusion by giving trade negotiators fast-track authority. Bipartisanship on this issue would be very much in the national interest; Democrats are doing all they can to kill trade deals that would benefit the economy, and if those trade deals are to pass, Republicans are the ones who will have…

The Best University President in the Country Is . . .

Mitch Daniels: A billboard on the highway heading into West Lafayette, Indiana—home of Purdue University—warns, “There’s a train coming.” It’s meant as an invitation to join the Boilermaker sports bandwagon, but it might just as easily refer to the skyrocketing costs of college tuition nationwide. Purdue president and former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels wants to do something about it. Prior to his arrival in 2012, tuition at Purdue had gone up every year for 36 years, with annual hikes averaging close to 6 percent in the previous decade. Daniels has frozen tuition for three straight years and slashed room and board costs by…

A Modest Improvement in Internet Freedom in Iran

Instead of banning websites completely, the Iranian regime is now just censoring their content. Sure, Iranians will only see redacted versions of websites, but at least they’ll see them. I guess this is supposed to mean that everything is both hunky and dory in Iran now. How very wonderful all of this is. Utopia has finally been achieved in Iran. Must be the effects of all of that political liberalization. Nota bene: Some people might think that this blog post is featuring sarcasm rather heavily. I can’t possibly imagine where they would get such an idea.

Quote of the Day

America has much to be cocky about. It invented large-scale democracy and nurtured its growth around the world. It vanquished fascism and communism, became the world’s only superpower. And its entrepreneur-driven economy is again the envy of the world. The nation has also long had more than its share of heroes — people such as Louis Zamperini, whose amazing story of survival during World War II is the subject of the best-selling book, and new movie, Unbroken. Yet to look around the USA is to see fear and anxiety. If you didn’t know better, you’d think this was a nation of wimps.…

Seems Like a Conservative To Me

All those who doubt Jeb Bush’s conservative credentials would do well to actually examine the man’s thoughts and actions: One month before Jeb Bush was sworn in as governor of Florida, he was already musing about bold plans to reduce the size of the state government. “One of our goals should be to have fewer government employees each year we are serving,” Mr. Bush wrote to two aides in an email in December 1998. “We need a baseline from which to start. Labor has huge potential to be reduced, possibly in half.” The Saturday after he was inaugurated, Mr. Bush forwarded that…

More on the Return of Anti-Semitism

Its return is quite noticeable in Britain: In Britain, prominent Jewish figures are expressing concern about the rising tide of anti-Semitism in that country. Most recently the director of the BBC Danny Cohen has stated that he has never felt so uncomfortable being Jewish in Britain. He even went so far as to cast doubt on the long-term future of Anglo-Jewry. Similarly, Labor Party leader Ed Miliband—also Jewish—has called for a “zero tolerance” approach to anti-Semitism. The great irony here, however, is that both men are Jews heading organizations which, through their portrayal and policy on Israel, are laying the…

A Modest Endorsement of the Venezuelan Regime

Behold. Of course, in a better world, we could spend less time parodying failed regimes and instead, spend our time implementing political and economic policies that actually do serve to alleviate immiseration and provide others with political freedoms. But the Venezuelan regime–and all those who enable its existence–is utterly uninterested in helping the people it supposedly represents. Its interests lie in enriching and empowering those at the top of the political heap, at the expense of the Venezuelan people themselves. As such, it is necessary to oppose the regime–and others like it–however one can. Parody helps.

Please Stop with the F***ing Complaints about the President’s Passion for Golf

Every single time at something bad happens, you can count on critics of President Obama to complain that he is playing golf instead of attending to the crisis of the moment (which may not even require crisis attention at the presidential level). The latest round of golf-inspired outrage has emerged in the aftermath of the awful shooting of two police officers in New York. More people than I can count haven taken to social media in the aftermath of the shooting to complain that once the president condemned the shooting, he went back to his vacation schedule, and specifically, that…