Category Archives: Economics

Around WordPress.com – 12/6/06

Here are a few more posts I found interesting, amusing, whatever.

Slide by and leave a comment. You don’t have to agree with ’em. It’s just blogging.

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Filed under Economics, Medicine, Military, Music, Pets, Politics, Science, Sociology, Sports, WordPress.com Blogs

Around WordPress.com – 12/5/06

Here are a few posts from around WordPress.com.  I’m linking to them because I enjoyed reading them and thought maybe somebody else would too. They aren’t in any order, other than how they popped up in my aggregator , or the order I found them via their tags.

That I liked something doesn’t mean I agree with it, believe it, or anything else. It just means I liked it.

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Filed under Economics, Medicine, Movies, News, Politics, Science, Sociology, WordPress.com Blogs

“War on Terror” a misnomer

We need to rename the “War on Terror”. Maybe we should call it “Guarding Against Terrorism”. I don’t know, but I’m open to suggestions.

9/11 scared the bejesus out of me. I realize fear is unbecoming of a middle-aged Southern boy. Nevertheless it did. Still does. It’s time to put it in perspective though.

I never thought twice as the US embarked on the “War on Terror”. It was obvious something had to be done about al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I’d have nuked ’em, but nobody asked me.

To hear our government tell it, we’re still waging the “War on Terror”. We will be, they promise, for a generation. Our leaders want us to believe our way of life is under attack. It may be, but not from the terrorists. The politicians want us to be afraid so they can usurp our rights and do things like invade other countries in our name. It’s worked well for them so far.

The fact is, though, being afraid of Muslim fanatics is just ridiculous. Yes, 9/11 was a horrific event. If terrorists could pull something similar off on a somewhat regular basis, then it would make sense to fear them. But to fear them, in light of who and what they really are, is ridiculous. (But flattering, I’m sure, for the terrorist themselves).

Oil is the only thing we need that is produced in the Muslim world. It seems safe to surmise that if the western oil companies shut down their operations, dismantled their wells, storage facilities, and pipelines, the oil would stay right where it is, under the sand, until someone from outside the Muslim world extracted it. Muslims lack the technology to do much of anything for themselves. Sadly, the only things they are good at making are terrorists and WMD. Such a people don’t constitute much of threat to our way of life.

Consider tiny Israel. They are some six million strong, surrounded by a billion Muslims, most of whom profess to want Israel wiped from the face of the earth. But they’re still there, right in the Muslim’s backyard. The US is infinitely more powerful than Israel, not to mention exponentially further removed from the apex of the threat.

It’s time to rename the “War on Terror”. It’s time to tell the government we expect them to protect us, not scare us to death, and certainly not infringe on our rights. In reality the politicians are a much greater threat to the American way of life than are the terrorists.

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Filed under Economics, Military, Politics, Terrorism

Illegal immigration good or bad?

Illegal immigration is a hot topic in the ‘sphere about now. I visit blogs of all political persuasions throughout WordPress.com, and I’d say opinion seems to run about seven against to three for an open door policy in the USA. I don’t possess the economic chops (or the intellect to acquire them) to comment on the subject intelligently. Of course something similar can be said about any subject I blog on. I don’t let awareness of my ignorance stop me from showing it.

Firstly, I have nothing against hispanics. (I realize hispanic is a bad term. I use it in the interest of brevity and clarity).  I don’t know any hispanics personally. Those that I’ve met were charming folks. I suspect that there are a few nice ones, and that most are jerks, just like I’ve found to be true in all the other races I’ve dealt with.

That said, I am concerned about how the invasion of my country by millions of potential competitors affects my future. As an unskilled, uneducated individual, I think my concerns are valid. Contrary to what Mr. Bush and his liberal buddies say, illegals aren’t just taking jobs no one wants. Anyone who works in the service or construction sectors of our economy can tell you illegal aliens are very well represented there. While those may be jobs no American wants, many of us have to work at them, en lieu of turning to crime.

In a nutshell, I don’t want to pay $100 bucks for a flat of strawberries. On the other hand, I’d like to earn enough money to afford cheap strawberries. Am I a bad person?

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Filed under Economics, News, Politics

The day after

Well we have a new congress. Most pundits seem to think it’s a rebuke to the Bush team in particular and the status quo in general. So, what can we expect to change? Nothing anybody who isn’t represented by a powerful PAC calls for, that’s for sure.

Here are some things that almost certainly won’t change, at least for the better, by the time the ’08 elections role around.

  • We won’t be out of Iraq. In fact, we’ll be even more bogged down there than we are now, and the independent voters are apt to blame the Democrats for that.
  • There will be at least as many, and probably more, Mexicans, Venezuelans, and muslim-extremist pouring across our southern border as are today.
  • There will be even more people without healthcare and healthcare prices will have risen another 20% (by ’08).

What we can expect is more legislation, like the latest Medicare debacle, that is crafted by and for big business. The politicians will continue to mortgage the nation’s future with their out of control spending. With any luck, there will be a fist-fight, maybe even a duel, fought in the House of Representatives.

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Filed under Economics, Medicine, Military, Politics

War on drugs; another fool’s errand?

Why are some drugs illegal in the US of A? A comment from my other reader, gizo, got me thinking about this. As is almost always the case with me, I have no idea what the actual answer is. I have donned my tinfoil hat, however, and will now try and pierce the mystery.

The easy answer would be that those drugs that are illegal are dangerous. The prisons in the US are full of people who did bad things while under the influence of drugs. They are also full of people who were simply under the influence of drugs, and didn’t do anything more than happen into the wrong place at the wrong time. They are there because they were in possession of drugs, or maybe because they flunked a subsequent drug test. Interestingly, the drug most of the sociopaths that populate our prisons were under the influence of when they did whatever heinous thing they did was alcohol.

Does it make sense to put non-violent citizens who are guilty only of using drugs in places where there is nothing to do but become violent, use drugs, and engage in sex with others of their gender? It certainly doesn’t make much economic sense, unless you’re somehow affiliated with the criminal justice system. If drugs were legal and readily available we could cut the number of lawyers, judges, cops, and prison guards by at least half, and probably much more than that. That would mean we could do something else with all those billions of tax dollars we blow fighting a fight that’s not winnable.

Then there’s the health argument. Lots of unfortunates would die if drugs were legal. They die anyway. Substance abuse is inherently dangerous, legal or not. Deaths due to illegal drugs are a tiny fraction of those resulting directly from the effects of alcohol or cigarette smoking. If drugs were legalized, almost all the crack-heads and meth-monsters would certainly die in short order. But if crack and meth were free, they wouldn’t cause much trouble doing it. We’d have to pay for a bunch of burials the first year. After that we’d be in the black.

I suppose doing much to de-stabilize the drug based economies of South American countries would further empower Marxist like Hugo Chavez. Maybe that’s another reason the government doesn’t consider legalizing drugs. We’d put the entrepreneurial criminals out of business and strengthen the socialist at the same time. I guess that’s a bad thing. At least the cocaine king-pins are capitalist.

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