26 May 2010

Regulating another financial disaster

Oh, housing prices continue to fall even as the federal government increasing intervenes in the arket — clearly the problem is that we are “not regulating those bucket shops on Wall Street well enough. That’s the only place speculative bubbles come from, never from government agencies pumping them up with massive subsidies.

At least the government is keeping private wages under control. It also turns out that federal spending damages local businesses — but that would only matter to result oriented people, unlike our regulatory class. They prefer things like the “stimulus” and fake data.

Regulation Watch

The US Department of Agriculture used to maintain a database listing all farm subsidies it paid out. The Pelosi-Reid Congress changed the law in 2008 to make maintenance of the database optional. Naturally, the USDA chose to avoid providing information on its activities to the taxpaying public. Once we again we see the trend that the more is expected from private entities by the government, the less that very same government expects from its own agencies. You have to wonder about something of which the promoters avoid as much as possible. One might even wonder if there was some purpose other than the public weal that motivated the regulators and their fellow travelers …

Finicky regulations multiply endlessly, and one says, “What is the purpose of this idiocy?” Well, the purpose is to train us to obedience to the welfare state. And to grind down any energy we might put into questioning the system

24 May 2010

War on Prosperity

Spain finally admits that it’s “green” policies are a financial disaster. While it wasn’t the NY Times reading public’s knowledge, surely our President (or his advisers) knew this when President Obama endorsed duplicating those policies here in the USA.

But, anyone who objects to this sort of government intervention is just an anarchist who wants no regulation at all. Better to fail on purpose.

Admission against interest

How does the European financial situation have to be for the New York Times to admit that it’s bad? I am sure that this is the first many people have heard of it.

16 May 2010

In, out, what's the difference?

Perhaps we should start referring to OJ as “prison guard”. After all, according to this post locking people in is morally identical to locking people out, so the locks on OJ’s house are morally equivalent to a prison.

12 May 2010

Low tech

According to President Barak Obama, our brilliant and techno-savvy President does not know how to work an XBox or an iPod. You know, they told me if I voted for Senator McCain, I would get a technologically illiterate President, and they were right!

10 May 2010

It's not the revanchist, it's the support network

A frequent topic is why American citizens might not be in favor of open borders in modern America. Perhaps one reason is incidents like this where students are punished for wearing American flags on their clothing to school and there are protests in support of the punishment.

The matter of concern here is not some small set of anti-American immigrants who nonetheless want to be citizens, but the support network and political climate that makes it possible and seemingly reasonable to act in such a manner. That’s the real difference between now and previous waves of immigration. This goes directly to the issue of how much immigration our nation can currently absorb without losing our national identity. I don’t find it unreasonable to see things like this and conclude that level is “not much”.

Cure worse than the disease watch

Why might reasonable people oppose additional regulation (on, say, the financial industry) despite obvious existing problems?

Perhaps because of people like this who use political cartoons by third rate “talents” as inspiration.

On a semi-related point, I think this article (via anduril at Just One MInute) says something interesting. The gist is that modern traders on Wall Street aren’t bankers, they’re hackers (or in gamer-speak, “rules lawyers”). The distinguishing characteristic is that they look at complex systems in order to exploit weaknesses without regard to the underlying purpose of the system. The article argues that most activity on Wall Street today is of this nature, rather than actual investment.

I don’t know if I agree with that, but I find it a compelling argument. The colonization of complex systems by what are, essentially, parasites is a long off-told story and it’s hard to see why modern finance should be immune. An implication of this is that making a complex system more complex doesn’t cure the parasite problem, it will generally make it worse. You can reduce the parasite problem by simplifying the system but you cannot eradicate them. Instead, like almost every issue in the real world, one must learn to live with trade offs. That’s something the pro-regulation faction can’t seem to grasp.

07 May 2010

Your papers, old man

Just a tidbit — Virgina Attorney General issues subpoena to get Michael Mann’s research data because Mann used $500,000 of grants from the state of Virginia on that research. Mann, if you’re curios, was the AGW “hockey stick” guy. And he’s a guy who spent millions of taxpayer dollars on “scientific” research that we, the public who payed for it, are not allowed to see. Apparently even asking is “McCarthyist”.

05 May 2010

Proper labeling

Remember, those who want to enforce immigration laws are Nazis and those opposing the laws are natural Americans.

P.S. Yes, it’s obviously unfair to tar that entire faction with a few outrageous signs, but that’s the standard that’s been established now.

04 May 2010

Plausible sustainability

Looks like General Motors paid off its government loans with differently labeled government money. Kind of expected, but who would be dumb enough to fall for such a transparent trick?

Oh — right.

Institutional Interests

I wanted to make a note of this which discusses how Andy Stern’s tenure at heading up the SEIU ended up being very good for Stern and his political allies, but rather bad for the actual union and its workers. Clearly, that’s the sort of organization we should do all we can to encourage workers to join.

03 May 2010

Because knowing who is on a bus is clearly more important

Senator Dick Durbin calls for a national ID card — all the GOP would have to do to spike this is require using the ID to vote. If there’s one thing the Democratic Party can’t permit it’s making sure only valid voters actually vote.

P.S. As others have noted this follows on the heels of massive outrage over requiring ID in Arizona.