Best graduation speech ever was given at Berkley in 2007 by Thomas J. Sargent

The best was also the shortest, only 335 words.  Stated were 12 economic concepts every college graduate should know.  Sargent started out by saying, “Economics is organized common sense. Here is a short list of valuable lessons that our beautiful subject teaches.”

Here is lesson number 10:

10. When a government spends, its citizens eventually pay, either today or tomorrow, either through explicit taxes or implicit ones like inflation.

With Obama’s annual deficits of a cool trillion dollars, we should take that one to heart. The bill for this indulgence will come due one day, probably after Obama is long gone. As Milton Friedman pointed out, the government can only get the dollars it spends in one of three ways: taxing, borrowing, or creating new money. Taxing and borrowing take from the economy, essentially canceling out the effects of the spending or worse. Creating new money amounts to monetary stimulus which mainly helps those who own substantial assets in real estate, stocks or other investments. The Obama/Bernanki/Yellen economy has recently proved that. Private sector spending is the real stimulus although it is actually a symptom of genuine wealth creation kindled by business investment and supply side growth. Supply side wealth creation is the only stimulus that creates economic growth and benefits everyone in the whole economy, either directly or indirectly. Organized common sense, indeed.

Read the other 11 economic concepts every college graduate should know at the Business Insider.

Psssst: You’re allowed to know these even if you’re not a college graduate. In fact, a lot of people who know these concepts the best never finished college.

The reason liberalism is so common is it allows people to form strong opinions without mental effort

The flapdoodle nonsense earnestly spoken in the interviews in the video below about the NRA and guns remains astonishing no matter how familiar it is. These people truly believe it is immoral to use a weapon to defend oneself against a deadly threat from a criminal attack. Only the police should have guns, period. They don’t believe there is any more to say or think on the subject. They don’t know and they don’t want to know that perhaps only in North Korea are the police are only ones who have guns. In many places good citizens do not have guns, but almost everywhere else on this earth criminals, terrorists, and all around bad guys are well armed. I don’t think these nimrods even care about that. It’s only good people having guns that bothers them. Gun violence is the fault of good people having guns, period. Don’t bother me with logic, facts, or simple common sense. Whew, what a way to live.

A lesson in how to stand up to a left-wing operative posing as a newsman

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore was interviewed about the Cliven Bundy standoff against the BLM by MSNBC host Chris Hayes; he tried to use her to promote his left-wing narrative and Harry Reid “domestic terrorists” nonsense, but she was having none of that. This is good.

Obama throws vulnerable Dems under the bus with indefinite delay of Keystone XL pipeline

With careful management of the news cycle, Obama chose Good Friday to announce an indefinite delay of the Keystone XL pipeline. He won’t face questions until Monday when other news may shadow the gravity his decision. The Keystone XL pipeline project has already been exhaustively reviewed and has passed environmental scrutiny. If it’s ever allowed to be built it will create thousands of high-paying jobs. Several Democrats are in favor of approval, but Obama seems to care more about his dream of making the United States into a socialist dystopia utopia than allowing the private sector to create jobs. “Jobs? We don’t need no stinking jobs!” seems to be the thinking. I guess endless unemployment checks will just have to be good enough.

Several Democrats facing election challenges in 2014 are not happy.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat-North Dakota: “It’s absolutely ridiculous that this well over five year long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time,”

Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat-Louisiana : “This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,…By making it clear that they will not move the process forward until there is a resolution in a lawsuit in Nebraska, the administration is sending a signal that the small minority who oppose the pipeline can tie up the process in court forever. There are 42,000 jobs, $20 billion in economic activity and North America’s energy security at stake.”

Landrieu is chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She threatened to “take decisive action to get this pipeline permit approved.”

Environmentalists are all wrong on the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is safer and more environmentally sound to transport oil by pipeline than by rail or truck because the latter are prone to accidents. Walter Russell Mead has written on this: The Opaque Dangers of Oil by Rail.

Reaction to Harry Reid’s accusation that Bundy Ranch Supporters are “Domestic Terrorists”

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 9.42.00 AM “They hold themselves out as patriots. They’re not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists” — Harry Reid


Time to stop thinking Hillary will be Dem nominee in 2016 — It ain’t going to happen

Breitbart: The Bigger they are…

As if all the bad headlines she’s getting weren’t enough…

Look at the polls. This week’s Fox News poll has Clinton’s favorable rating at its lowest point in six years. She is at 49 percent favorable, 45 percent unfavorable—similar to her 47 percent favorable, 46 percent unfavorable rating when she ended her last presidential campaign.

More important than the individual results, however, is the trend. Since leaving office as secretary of state, Clinton’s favorable rating has been on a downward trajectory. And this is before the rigors of a campaign, before a Biden or a Warren or an O’Malley or a Cuomo or a Schweitzer or a Sanders throws a punch or two, before Christie, Bush, Rubio, Walker, Jindal, Paul, Kasich, Ryan, Perry, and Pence go for the Cobra Clutch Bulldog. A shoo-in?So was The Undertaker.

The big question Hillary and her supporters can’t answer is what is her proudest accomplishment as Secretary of State. Hell, just naming even one accomplishment is a tall order.  Four dead Americans including the Ambassador at Benghazi is what comes to mind, and only because it was a disaster and dereliction of duty.

I’ve always argued the opposite with people who think Hillary and Jeb Bush are going to be nominees in 2016.  I said Hillary, no way; on Bush, I hope not.  Now I’m beginning to hope it is Hillary but I think the Democrats, being smarter than Republicans, are not going to nominate a loser.

Climate Change Reconsidered — NIPPC Report

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 7.03.25 AM

The Non-GovernmentaL International Panel on Climate Change (NIPPC) issues its report that contradicts everything recently reported by the warming alarmist United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and says, “IPCC has exaggerated the negative impacts of global warming and rising atmospheric CO2 levels: We find no net harm to the global environment or to human health, and often find the opposite: net benefits to plants, including important food crops, and to animals and human health.” 

There has been no warming for the last 17 years.  A recent Gallup Poll found that Americans rate climate change 14th out of 15 issues they were asked about.

Putin is not a genius — He doesn’t need to be

Because we are complete idiots.

A Google search with the terms “Putin” and “genius” yields over 10 million hits. If I hear another pundit’s panegyric to Putin’s great intellect, I’ll lose my lunch. Putin is not that smart; the trouble is that we are complete idiots. When Ukraine imploded, our leaders–from Victoria Nuland at the State Department to the neo-conservatives–rather assumed that we would reverse Ukraine’s polarity to the West, and humiliate Russia with the loss of Crimea. Putin called our bluff, and we had no viable military options.

Putin doesn’t need to send the Red Army into Ukraine. Every Ukrainian officer above the rank of major came up through the ranks in the Red Army. Ukrainian commanders won’t fight the Russians. They are the Russians. Yesterday we watched Ukrainian paratroopers turn their armored vehicles over to Russian separatists. Maybe John McCain can send them more weapons to hand over to Moscow.

Read the whole thing.

Democrats are waging a war on the middle class

The policies of Obama and the Democrats are increasingly favoring Wall Street and the Washington Beltway elite while making the life at the bottom a bit easier but also locking people in  and preventing them from moving up into the middle class.  As for the middle class itself, only government workers have seen any improvement in their economic condition.  As for the private sector middle class Democrat policies are in every way the exact opposite of what is needed to enable people to accumulate wealth and savings for their children’s education and their own retirement.  You’d think Obama and big-city elite Democrats would be concerned. They aren’t. The reasons may surprise you.

Some recent commentary from social prognosticators:

A Glimpse Into the Political Future by Fred Siegel:

Despite a welfare state roughly as generous as Europe’s, American society is increasingly divided between those from two-parent families, who do okay or better, generally speaking, and those forced to struggle against the odds because of the absence of fathers. Today’s liberalism has little to say about how to help people rise from the bottom into the middle class. Rather, its proposals—like raising the minimum wage—are designed to make the already-working poor more comfortable. That’s perhaps an admirable goal, but it’s also a path to a class-stratified society.

The other great liberal political success story has been the rise of public-sector unions, which fueled both Obama’s reelection and Bill de Blasio’s victory in New York City’s mayoral race. They are now a key component of the liberal coalition. The upshot of Obama’s policies is that he has, Chicago-style, fed the top-bottom alliance of crony capitalists and the social-service state—the government-worker providers and the recipients of aid. This has left the private-sector middle class out in the cold.

The Liberal Top-Bottom Alliance by Fred Siegel

The Obama administration’s pursuit of electoral victory in 2012 seems to be based on abandoning private-sector middle-class and white working-class voters. As Thomas Edsall rightly argued recently in the New York Times, the Democrats have become a top-bottom coalition comprising, at one end, highly educated professionals—many of whom work for government or are beneficiaries of government subsidies—and, at the other end, low-income recipients of government welfare benefits. But this isn’t a new model. New Yorkers who remember John Lindsay’s mayoralty from 1966 to 1973 will recall the devastating impact that a similar top-bottom strategy had on the city.

But the top-bottom coalition wasn’t truly formed until the following election season, when Lindsay, facing a tough battle, hoped to create a new political alliance—black militants and well-to-do liberals—and to pit it against the remnants of the old ethnic Democratic machine.

What brought the socialites and the Panthers together was the sense that only the rich and the poor had a claim on righteousness. Only those at the top and the bottom could fully recognize, albeit for different reasons, the sins of American middle-class society. Liberalism had become a matter of style, and the rich were becoming part of the liberal coalition. The middle class was the problem—and soon enough, the middle class had a problem with New York liberals. The city, which hemorrhaged 600,000 jobs in the wake of Lindsay’s second term, suffered a massive emigration of middle-class residents during the 1970s. New York careened into the fiscal crisis of 1975 and near-bankruptcy. The city recovered from those calamities eventually, but the Left’s top-bottom approach in New York has never really changed since.

Now, under President Obama, the top-bottom alliance has gone national. Though the president may, like Lindsay before him, find a way to get reelected, the Democrats will pay a steep price for alienating the middle class.

 Chicago’s Vanishing Middle Class by Aaron M.Renn

The plight of the middle class in cities like Chicago can’t be blamed entirely on liberal policies. The global economy has clearly benefited the talented, the educated, and the already wealthy, often at the expense of those in formerly middle-class occupations, like manufacturing. And it’s unlikely that the forces unleashed by globalization will diminish. One might expect, then, that big-city Democratic leaders like Emanuel or de Blasio would make a strong appeal to middle-class constituents.

They haven’t, because for liberal mayors, middle-class decline is convenient and politically advantageous. Much of America’s moneyed elite has already shifted its allegiance to the Left, especially in cities. Wealthy, educated urbanites hold generally liberal social values and can afford the higher taxes “blue” cities like Chicago impose—especially when those taxes help pay for the upscale amenities they desire. Even when the mayoral administration is less friendly, the urban elite tends to get its needs met. At the same time, the urban poor have remained loyal to the Democrats, no matter how little tangible improvement liberal policies make in their lives. And the various unions, community organizers, and activist groups that advocate for the poor profit handsomely from the moneys directed toward liberal antipoverty programs.

This is the Democratic Party’s new top-bottom coalition, one in which the traditional middle class—white ethnics, blue-collar manufacturing and trade workers, small business owners, and others—has no part. These “left-outs” are the urban equivalents of Reagan Democrats. Their instinct to vote Democratic may remain, but the economic interests that once bound them to the party have largely disappeared, leaving them politically unaffiliated. They are open to voting for a compelling Republican, such as Rudolph Giuliani—particularly if the city in which they live appears to be spiraling downward.

In other words, these independent-minded, urban middle classes are quintessential swing voters. They can create political trouble for an unsympathetic mayor—and that’s why leaders in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere aren’t going to lift a finger to try to halt their flight. Indeed, in Chicago, even the black middle class is bailing. The city’s leadership appears unconcerned.

Actually, the disdain for the middle class held by the left, liberal, progressives, or whatever they call themselves at any given time, began much earlier than when John Lindsay was mayor of New York City.  Perhaps this strain of American history began with the writings of Woodrow Wilson in the 1880s, especially his book The State (1889).  See also Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism (2005) by Ronald Pestritto; The Promise of American Life (1913) by Herbert Croly; and for a thorough history of the Left and it’s contempt for the American middle class see The Revolt Against The Masses, How Liberalsim Has Undermined the Middle Class (2013) by Fred Siegel.

Quote of the Day — Race in the Obama Years

Fred Siegel, A Glimpse Into the Political Future, commenting on an article by Jonathan Chiat on race in the Obama years.

“Liberals,” Chait writes, “dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable.” Similarly, he goes on, “Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right.”

One can commend Chait for his evenhandedness—which has stirred a hornet’s nest of opposition from liberals—without accepting the equivalence he draws between these two views. But the real problem with his essay comes when he steps out of the realm of ideology and into the world of practical outcomes. Six years into the Obama presidency, Americans have ample grounds, independent of race, to dislike him.

The shortcomings of the Obama administration, ranging from a still-sluggish economy to a slow-witted foreign policy, have produced an opposition that doesn’t always fit into Chait’s ideological grid. Parts of the public, not necessarily on the right, have caught on to Obama’s double game, in which his administration has been rhetorically egalitarian and operationally elitist. The economic winners of the Obama years have been, in Joel Kotkin’s terms, the “oligarchs of Wall Street and Silicon Valley.” The losers have come not only from the private-sector middle class, but also from heavily Democratic minority groups.

But at least the hypocrisy and false promise of liberalism can no longer be denied with any credibility.  The Obama economy has been good for people who own assets such as stocks and real estate, not so good for those who work for a living.  Those who vote for a living are shackled to an existence of just getting by with little hope for improvement in their condition.  Nice going all you white liberals who voted for Obama to put the race issue behind us and all that hope and change crap.