Quick Roundup 377

Friday, November 07, 2008

Mankiw on the Youth Vote

Greg Mankiw's conjecture on why the youth vote was so heavily Democratic:

I am not enough of a political scientist to be sure, but recent conversations I have had with some Harvard undergrads have led me to a conjecture: It was largely noneconomic issues. These particular students told me they preferred the lower tax, more limited government, freer trade views of McCain, but they were voting for Obama on the basis of foreign policy and especially social issues like abortion. The choice of a social conservative like Palin as veep really turned them off McCain. [bold added]
Or, as Paul Hsieh recently informed the GOP -- who asked -- awhile back:
The Republican Party must promote the strict separation of church and state. I used to support the Republican Party because I believe in individual rights, free markets, a strong national defense, and the right to keep and bear arms.

However, the Republican Party alliance with the religious right on "social issues" like abortion and gay marriage has turned off many former supporters such as myself.

The proper function of the government is to protect individual rights, as philosopher Ayn Rand notes:

"Man's Rights"

"The Nature of Government"

The government should not force one group's religious views on everyone. Hence, I no longer have a home in any political party. To paraphrase a quote from Ronald Reagan, "I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me." [bold added, raw URLs converted into hyperlinks]
I agree.

As the GOP begins soul-searching after its well-earned thrashing, activism like this can potentially have a big effect, and it will become particularly important as Barack Obama maintains and perhaps expands the foothold for theocracy that Bush introduced in the form of "faith-based" government initiatives.

In any event, although the Congressional Dems will not be able to keep themselves from overreaching, it is somewhat reassuring that even Froma Harrop doesn't see a leftist mandate in the electoral tea leaves (although her idea of center is farther to the left than mine).

Objectivist Roundup

C. August has posted it over at Titanic Deck Chairs.

He also beat me to posting the above hilarious video from The Onion on Obama supporters, but it's so good I want it here, anyway. I like the fact that it makes fun of his supporters for exactly the same reason I did yesterday!

China Issues First Order to Obama

Notice the why and the what:
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and a top UN official urged industrialised nations Friday to alter their lifestyles and investment modes as part of efforts to tackle global warming.

"The developed countries have a responsibility and an obligation to respond to global climate change by altering their unsustainable way of life," Wen was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Developed nations should also help developing countries respond to climate change, Wen said at the opening of a two-day international meeting on global warming in Beijing.

The gathering in Beijing, which is being attended by representatives from 76 nations, is focusing on the development and transfer of technology that can help tackle climate change ahead of next month's talks on creating a new global treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. [bold added]
Translation: "Don't forget to pass the goodies before you turn out the lights!"

An Email ...

... to forward to that relative in your life who can't resist sending schmaltzy emails to everyone he can think of!
In 1986, Peter Davies from Newfoundland was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Memorial University . On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Toronto Zoo with his teen-aged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant. Peter summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.
I'd get ready to forward one of the schmaltzy ones, but change the payload before sending. (HT: Mom)

-- CAV


coreyo said...

From my experience with fellow young people, students and alike, you're completely right. Social rights lead the way. Most students don't know much about taxes or many fiscal issues at all. Many of them will realize how much they are taxes once the get their first real job and have a budget that they created for themselves (and not an allowance from the parents).

Gus Van Horn said...

In other words, when they grow up, the Obamamoon may be over!

C. August said...

That video still brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.

And the spammail you posted is great. The next time my crazy aunt sends me something, I'll be sure to reply with that.

Gus Van Horn said...

My Mom is almost the exact opposite of that Crazy Aunt we all seem to have. She just sends the good stuff. I could probably have a blog just of the things she sends!

Except that it would really be her blog, but with my work, and she'd have to start paying me an allowance again for that!

Harold said...

Wait a minute, if that's the case why wouldn't they just vote libertarian? He says in his article that the Libertarian Party is too extreme in its views. But which views and what's wrong with them being "extreme"?

Incidentally, Ayn Rand talked about the use of the word extremism as a smear and a way of avoiding certain questions. She was right again, lol.

He also says "these students are part of the establishment" So, they don't think for themselves? What's going on here?

With regard to taxes, I'm on direct deposit and it's just as well, that way I don't have to see how much of my money goes to out the window before I even touch it, lol.

Gus Van Horn said...

In my haste to post (and my focus on the reason for the big Democratic vote), I missed Mankiw's remarks on the Libertarians.

You are right to point out that he misses the mark in his criticism of Libertarians. First, "extreme" is not valid (Would it be wrong to be a pro-food "extremist" when the other choice is poison?). Second, the Libertarians are anything BUT principled.

Jim May said...

One of my favorite quick shots against the "extremist" smear is this quote from Barry Goldwater:

"“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”"

Gus Van Horn said...

Good one! Thanks for posting that!