Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Wall Street Journal Imitates Me

Your humble blogger, in a post titled Another Asset Bubble?, a little over a month ago:

It is simple supply and demand. In the 90s people poured money wildly into the stock market, and it bubbled and crashed. Earlier this decade the same thing happened to the housing market, and we are now feeling the results. Now the money is being poured into the commodities market, especially oil and gold, and pushing the prices to unsustainable levels. How long before those "re-adjust" too?

From the Wall Street Journal this Monday:

No doubt commodity traders are having a field day, but what they are speculating on is the Fed's refusal to stop the free-fall of the dollar. The weak dollar has created another speculative bubble, this time in commodities. Oil prices have been surging despite only the usual geopolitical risks to global supplies and despite a recent International Energy Agency estimate that global oil demand will fall as growth slows.

I guess it is about time they put me on the editorial board...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gas Tax Politics

I am a McCain supporter, although not as enthusiastically as I was in 2000, but he is by no means immune from criticism. Senator McCain, although known for his independence, and rightfully for the most part, is still susceptible to populist silliness. In this case, both he and Hillary Clinton are proposing a gas tax holiday too offset the high price of gas, with Barack Obama opposed.

While the popular appeal of this is, of course, strong. Heck, I don't like having to pay $3.50 a gallon any more than anyone else. The economics though, doesn't make any sense. What does a tax do to the demand for a good? It is a first quarter micro question. The answer is that it raises, the total sale price of a good, decreasing the quanitity demanded, while decreasing the amount received by the producer. So if the goal is to lower the price of gas, you should actually raise the tax. Eliminating the tax will just increase demand, and thus the real price.

Of course Obama, also showing a complete lack of understanding of economics proposes a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies, which will do nothing more than discourage future production, and bizarrely target domestic producers, while benefiting foreign companies, in comparison to a tax paid at the pump.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Didn't Know Obama had a College Named After Him

From a recent article on his "bitter" comments:

The Illinois senator defended himself at the CNN forum, emphasizing that he was a devout Christian" and saying that while his wording may have been "clumsy," he did not mean to offend religious voters. "What I was referring to is in no way demeaning to a faith that I myself embrace," Mr. Obama said at the forum, held at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Liberal Fascism

I am an avid reader, and digest several books a month, but never get a chance to talk about them. This book was interesting enough to warrant a post.

As an undergrad I majored in Russian and East European Studies, specializing in 20th century Soviet history, and was always befuddled why people considered Stalinist Russia to be left-wing, while Hilter's Germany was right wing. To me they both seemed the same to represent the same political philosophy, the power of the state over the individual, as the key driver of history.

Goldberg expounds on this observation and writes a comprehensive history of why fascism is in fact a left-wing, modern day liberal philosophy, and not right-wing or conversative. While he repeatively makes clear that he is not saying that modern day liberals are not fascist, almost to the point of annoyance, he does say that they have inherited a philosophical basis. While much of this well argued, some of his arguments, such as those attacking the film Dead Poets Society, are a bit stretched. The book definitely serves its purpose in starting a conversation on the meaning of fascism, and the modern American left though, and deserves reading.

What More Can Barack Do to Sabotage His Campaign?

Obama shows why he is not ready for primetime:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Uhh, excuse me. Anti-trade sentiments because their jobs have disappeared? Who exactly was running around Ohio blaming NAFTA for all the job losses?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Why Does Barack Obama Lie So Much?

Does he think he can get away with it, because the press is on his side. This strategy didn't work for Hillary....