Saturday, November 19, 2011
Not Exactly a Coincidence
The U.S. budget deficit recently topped $15 trillion for the first time in history. In the meantime, an article in Forbes that offers a blistering attack on Obama's economic policies notes that, "The poverty rate climbed to 15.1%, higher than in the late 1960s when the War on Poverty was getting underway, $16 trillion ago." When I first made this mental connection, I thought something like, "It's incredible that our debt isn't even worse than this." But then I remembered the various unfunded liabilities of the entitlement state, which total $62 trillion by one recent estimate.
Regarding the Forbes article... Peter Ferrera attacks apologists for "Obamanomics" for relying on a book titled, This Time Is Different, to argue that what we face differs in kind from a typical recession -- because such reasoning ignores the fact that America has, in his words, a "free market, capitalist economy." This is wrong. If our economy truly were capitalist, and not mixed (and becoming more like the economies of the countries in This Time Is Different every day), we wouldn't even have economy-wide booms and busts, nor would we have an entitlement state.
Ferrera is right that Obama's policies are wrong, but he undercuts himself when he fails to acknowledge that our economic policies weren't exactly good before Despair and More-of-the-Same -- I mean Hope and Change -- arrived.
"[M]any people are not independent thinkers, and when confronted with a dilemma they either ignore it or hope it will resolve itself." -- Michael Hurd, in "With Friends Like These..." at DrHurd.com
"The more you think about trades or talk about them, the more likely you are to feel committed to hold onto them and be proven right." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Three Simple rules for Buying Stock" at SmartMoney
"The actual history of America shows something else entirely: picking your neighbors' pockets is not a necessity of survival." -- Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, in "America Before The Entitlement State" at Forbes
My Two Cents
Familiarize yourself with the Brook and Watkins piece -- and be ready to point receptive people to it -- the next time some unimaginative oaf implies that we'd all drop like flies were it not for the welfare state.
Ever since I read the following over at Armed and Dangerous, I've been wondering how long it would take to happen.
All my software development projects and personal papers live on the same device I make my phone calls from. It looks a lot like the G1 now sitting on the desk inches from my left hand; a handful of buttons, a small flatscreen, and a cable/charger port. My desk has three other things on it: a keyboard about the size of the one I have now, a display larger than the one I have now, and an optical drive. Wires from all three run to a small cradle base in which my phone sits; this also doubles as a USB hub, and has an Ethernet cable running to my house network. And that's my computer.Now, we're one step closer: "USB Stick Contains Dual-Core Computer, Turns Any Screen Into an Android Station."