• Green Scarf Dispatch Company

Weekend 193.1

To put this in plain terms, Americans and their institutions have tended to choose the self-interest and individualism of the free market over the nationalized model more prevalent in postwar Europe. The faith once put in planning now seems so remote, even obscure, that its historical retrieval faces decades of cavalier indifference or ideological antagonism, a form of silencing fueled by Cold War anxiety, bull market profits, as well as the failures of American attempts at creating a public safety net. — Andrew M. Shanken

(1) If we are to survive the looming catastrophe, we need to face the truth

This was the heaven on earth for which liberal democracy had been striving: a system of wealth redistribution that was merciful but not Marxist, and a guarantee of lifelong economic and social security for everyone that did not involve totalitarian government. This was the ideal the European Union was designed to entrench. It was the dream of Blairism, which adopted it as a replacement for the state socialism of Old Labour. And it is the aspiration of President Obama and his liberal Democrats, who want the United States to become a European-style social democracy.

NY Times on Government Perversion

Jury duty. You endure CNN and watch some crappy video about how judges don’t legislate from the bench. I don’t typically use my blog to rant so I’ll spare all three of my reader(s) the histrionics. It was a fairly productive morning (completed a workbook my accountant provides me each year) and the lawyer sitting next to me furnished me with a copy of the NY TIMES after he moved onto his Kindle.

There were three articles in it I wanted to mention/cite since each makes the case against BIG government (and the favored policies of the liberals who read that awful paper). It’s also the NY TIMES so you feculent liberals can trust the source.

(1) Britain’s Economy Stalls, in Setback for Cameron

It is that formula that has stirred allegations from the political left in Britain that Mr. Cameron and Mr. Osborne are embarked on an ideological crusade, using Britain’s indebtedness, the worst in Europe, as an excuse to roll back the power of the state.

Limestone Commentary: Um. Fact. Britain’s indebtedness is the worst in Europe. What’s a logical and plausible counter to that indebtedness? How about expanding the power of the state via more spending? What a brilliant, Obama-like, solution!

(2) Who Invests in Low-Income Housing? Google, for One

Mr. Copeman attributed the differential today in tax credit prices from one region to another to “the unintended, perverse consequences” of the Community Reinvestment Act, despite what he said was a need for five million more units in all 50 states. He said banks generally did not make these investments in places where they had no depositors.

Limestone Commentary: Perverse! Fact: When the government tries to legislate equality something perverse always happens. Need a modern day example (the CRA is from 1989)? The Obama administration is passing out health care waivers because what was signed into law is a disaster. And what basis are the waivers being awarded? The government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers -unless- that was the entire point.

(3) A Growth Agenda for World Economic Forum

Finally, there is liberalization. It has become fashionable to blame the global financial crisis on free markets. But the problem rather was that markets were distorted by bailouts and skewed incentives.

Freeing markets, whether by liberalizing rules on hiring and firing or sweeping away restricted practices in professions, still has the capacity to deliver a big long-term boost to productivity in much of the world. The Davos delegates should grasp this agenda.

Limestone Commentary: Two words- perverse and distorted. Two more…tea and party.

UPDATE
The Wall Street Journal adds context via Virginia Postrel’s Small Crafts vs. Big Government.

Net Neutrality: A government “solution” for a non-problem

(1) The Net Neutrality Coup: The campaign to regulate the Internet was funded by a who’s who of left-liberal foundations.

(2) The Obama FCC has regulated the Internet

(3) Abolish the FCC

Quote
There is nothing in life that grows and thrives on its own that a liberal won’t come along and want to regulate and control. That is happening here…It’s particularly arrogant with the Internet which is evolving and changing rapidly as anything in the history of communications. I think that in and of itself is scary. -Charles Krauthammer

Limestone Commentary
It has to be doublespeak since the staff at WIRED were advocates (and campaigned for it) since the very beginning.

Weekend 156.0

(1) 12 Awesome Airplane Paint Jobs

(2) How to Turn a Recession into a Depression

(2a) “As hostility to businessmen grows, politicians tax them more heavily, while debasing and inflating the currency to maintain an illusion of prosperity. Then, when these policies cause rising price levels, a deluded populace demands price controls, which ambitious politicians are all too ready to impose.

Every nation has developed and flowered – with art, music, and the other ornaments and means of civilization – only on the basis of flourishing business trade, commerce. This was true of the Phoenicians, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Egypt, the Chinese civilization, the Byzantine Empire, Venice, Florence, Spain, England, France, Germany and the United States. Go through the history of each and you’ll find in its origins that period in which commerce and finance were highly regarded and relatively free in a developing civilization.” – V. Orval Watts

(3) Honda Icon Museum

(4) 23 years in the making for just one hour off the travel time: Drilling on world’s longest tunnel stretching 35.4 miles under the Alps is completed

(4a) Boondoggle in the Motor City – Detroit’s Train to Nowhere

(4b) Flashy Projects Have Not Helped Detroit

(4c) Where Infrastructure Estimates Come Up Short

(5) Yale Center for British Art

Obama believes in Private Property?

Don’t get too excited. The Distributor-in-Chief only believes in this tenet of Private Enterprise if it supports the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero. A majority of American(s) believe Obama is a socialist but he’s breaking from his Marxist dogma/ideology and using “private property” as a pretense for supporting this display of aberrant grotesquery.

…that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.
– Barack Hussein Obama

Weekend 145.0

(1) Train Etiquette – A grumpy 22 year old’s code of locomotive conduct.

Hi. I'm Norm

(2) A Modest Proposal for Improving a Dull Game (WSJ)

“Poor Ghana has been triumphed over by British, Portuguese, German, Dutch and Danish colonialists, the Kwame Nkrumah regime, a CIA-sponsored coup and at least four other coups just since the 1900s. But I guess this is a separate question from why people don’t use their hands in soccer.)”

(3) Obama is a Socialist (55%)

Idiotic Cerebral Meritocracy

“Our federal bureaucracy is a vast wasteland strewn with the carcasses of absurd federal programs which proved infinitely worse than the problems they were established to correct.”

– Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran, Bishop of Rockford, Illinois

Related
Witnessing the heart as it cracks

Socialism: Lather, rinse, repeat

Death of the Postmodernist Dream by Victor Davis Hanson

“The Greek meltdown — with Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain on the brink — has shown that European socialism does not work. Bankruptcy, not politics, is the final arbiter: Individuals, firms, and nations either buy particular bonds or they don’t. And a nation like Greece, in turn, either pays what it has borrowed or it doesn’t. All the op-eds in the New York Times cannot change that fact.

Socialist Intervention in the Private Sector is Not True Health Care Reform by The American TFP

“Socialism is a utopian ideology that seeks to eliminate human selfishness by destroying individual freedom, private property and free enterprise. Socialists believe they can eliminate injustice by transferring responsibilities from individuals and families to the State. However, their efforts are tantamount to killing the patient to cure his illness.”

Related
Not So Liberating: The Twilight of Liberation Theology
How Hugo Chávez broke my heart

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