4-21-12 Hodgepodge

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hope for the Tea Party?

In her review (HT: HBL) of Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution, Wendy Milling opens by stating that, "Ayn Rand once observed that ideas are the ultimate driving force of history, and the most consistent side in an ideological war will eventually win." Based on this observation, she finds reason for optimism about the Tea Party as an agent for positive change in America's political landscape:

The real litmus test of this solidification is their proposed disposition of the entitlement programs. On this most important of issues, there are only two logical possibilities. The entitlement programs can either be "saved for future generations" or gotten rid of. One of these choices is consistent with Tea Party principles, and one of them is simply not. The dilemma is that these programs have always been the third rail of politics. Under these high stakes, did the Tea Party give in to political pressure and moral demagoguing in order to avoid alienating people, or did they remain consistent with their principles?

They indicated support for sunsetting the entitlement programs (p. 61-62). Statists, be afraid.
That said, Milling is no Polyanna. She also notes the need for the Tea Party to adopt an organizing principle and longer-range, more comprehensive goals.

Weekend Reading

"For many laws that are wrong, certain caveats or qualifications should be stated before condemning them. I cannot think of any for antitrust law." -- Wendy Milling, in "The DOJ's Mugging Of Apple Reminds Us That Antitrust Is Theft" at Forbes

"Today's market completely lacks the magical thinking and irrational euphoria that defines a bubble." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "Why This Isn't Bubble 2.0" at SmartMoney

"Interestingly, risk-taking personalities are the exact opposite of those who suffer from depression." -- Michael Hurd, in "Happiness Can be Risky" at DrHurd.com

"Which woman is freer -- the one from a century ago who couldn't vote but lived when the American state was limited to protecting her rights to life, liberty and property, or today's woman, who can vote, but only among gangs of greedy and grasping politicians who routinely violate, to varying degrees, her rights to life, liberty, and property?" -- Richard Salsman, in "Representation Without Taxation - So Where's The Outrage?" at Forbes

My Two Cents

The Hurd piece brings up a common stereotype about risk that is worth keeping in mind when discussing the topic: "Risk gets a bad name because it gets lumped with sensation-seeking. But they aren't the same."

Good News/Bad News, but Inspiring

A grad student turns the frustration inherent in his stage of life into good advice:
I'm getting my PhD in math, and developing a web app/startup on the side. I can tell you that one thing from my PhD research that I can carry over to my entrepreneurial ambitions is that you only have to be right 1% of the time. The hard part is, you need to be psychologically prepared to be wrong all other times. [link dropped]
It's a short piece, but the author memorably hits the nail on the head about a common problem that gets in the way of otherwise intelligent, ambitious people making progress on difficult problems. Read it all.

-- CAV

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