Thinking in public about anything that matters.

Month: October 2008

More on Financial Crisis

The financial crisis and the worst campaign question by Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson

“The one question that everyone wants Barack Obama and John McCain to answer now is: What will you do to fix the economy? This question is certainly understandable, but breathtakingly preposterous and pathetic.”

They are still getting it wrong on the recessionby Gerard Jackson

“If consumption was really responsible for our economic slowdown then it is obvious that firms at the lowest stages of production, those closest to consumption, would have been the first to feel the impact of any slackening in consumer spending.

“Instead we find that the higher stages of production — as predicted by Austrian economic analysis — started to contract before any fall off in consumer spending. In short, it is not consumer spending that is the driving force in the economy but aggregate business spending… “

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Why I say “no” to Barack Obama, Part 2

More links to articles I find helpful:

Thomas Sowell

Conservatives for Obama?“What is going on?

“Partly what is going on is that, in recent years, the Congressional Republicans in general– and Senator John McCain in particular– have so alienated so many conservatives that some of these conservatives are like a drowning man grasping at a straw.

“The straw in this case is Obama’s recent “refining” of his position on a number of issues, as he edges toward the center, in order to try to pick up more votes in November’s general election.

“Understandable as the reactions of some conservatives may be, a straw is a very unreliable flotation device. ”

Negative Advertising “Barack Obama has carried election-year makeovers to a new high, presenting himself a uniter of people, someone reaching across the partisan divide and the racial divide– after decades of promoting polarization in each of his successive roles and each of his choices of political allies.

“Yet the media treat exposing a fraudulent election-year image as far worse than letting someone acquire the powers of the highest office in the land through sheer deception.”

Investor’s Business Daily is offering a series of articles:

The Audacity of Socialism

“Barack Obama has styled himself a centrist, but does his record support that claim?

“In this series, we examine Senator Obama’s past, his voting record and the people who’ve served as his advisers and mentors over the years. We’ll show how the facts of Obama’s actions and associations reveal a far more left-leaning tilt to his background — and to his politics.”

I have not finishedthe series, but I’ve found it worth reading so far.


Shelby Steele

The Obama Bargain “Mr. Obama’s extraordinary dash to the forefront of American politics is less a measure of the man than of the hunger in white America for racial innocence.”

Why Jesse Jackson Hates Obama “Mr. Obama’s great political ingenuity was very simple: to trade moral leverage for gratitude. Give up moral leverage over whites, refuse to shame them with America’s racist past, and the gratitude they show you will constitute a new form of black power. They will love you for the faith you show in them.

“So it is not hard to see why Mr. Jackson might have experienced Mr. Obama’s emergence as something of a stiletto in the heart.  Mr. Obama is a white “race card” — moral leverage that whites can use against the moral leverage black leaders have wielded against them for decades. He is the nullification of Jesse Jackson — the anti-Jackson.”
Steele’s articles are valuable forhis insights on the dynamics of race, culture, and politics in America, and his view of how these dynamics combine in the person of Barack Obama.

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Why I say “no” to Barack Obama

In my previous post, I gave a list (which will continue to grow) of articles that I recommend reading regarding the present economic crisis. Now I want to add to that some articles related to the coming American elections.

Economics is not the only issue, but right now we need a president and a congress who have some grasp of why a free market is the answer to our economic plight, rather than the cause of it.

I don’t love McCain. Among other reasons, he’s not a real free-market champ. But I find Barack Obama to be far scarier, especially if he’s backed up with a majority of Democrats in both the House and Senate.My reasons for dreading an Obama presidency are numerous. Let’s start with the economic sphere:

This first article is by Gerard Jackson. Although the article points out in the first paragraph that Obama’s policies are very similar to Herbert Hoover’s, most of the article doesn’t address Obama at all, but the causes of the Great Depression, and how Hoover’s policies – not at all free market ones, but simply precursors to FDR’s NewDeal policies – were, together with FDR’s, responsible for making the Great Depression so great.

This is information I’ve known for over 20 years from reading economics books and articles, butover those years I’ve run into a number of people who seem to think Hoover was a laissez faire man, and that it was the free market that caused the Great Depression. So I can’t urge you enough to read the following article and pass the link onto your friends if you find it of value.

Why Obanomics = Hoovernomics

Then read this one by Edgar K. Brownin

Obama’s economic agenda: This is change?

And then there are issues other than economic soundness:

From Thomas Sowell:

Whose “Special Interests”? “We take it for granted that a vote means a secret ballot but it was not always that way. Moreover, it will not remain that way for workers who vote on whether or not they want a labor union, if legislation sponsored by Congressional Democrats and endorsed by Senator Barack Obama becomes law.”

The Real Obama “Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, William Ayers and Antoin Rezko are not just people who happened to be at the same place at the same time as Barack Obama. They are people with whom he chose to ally himself for years, and with some of whom some serious money changed hands. ”

The Real Obama Part II“Seemingly unrelated things can give important insights into someone’s outlook and character. For example, after the Cold War was over, it came out that one of the things that caught the attention of Soviet leaders early on was President Ronald Reagan’s breaking of the air traffic controllers’ strike.

“Why were the Soviets concerned about a purely domestic American issue like an air traffic controllers’ strike? Why was their attention not confined to “the real issues” between the United States and the Soviet Union?”

The Real Obama: Part III “Surely education is a real issue, with American school children consistently scoring below those in other countries, and children in minority communities faring worst of all.

“What about Senator Obama’s position on this real issue? As with other issues, he has talked one way and acted the opposite way.”

The Real Issues: Part IV “Barack Obama’s supporters often try to sidestep questions about his character and judgment by saying that we should stick to what they arbitrarily define as “the real issues.” But Senator Obama’s record on specific issues is as bad as his record of repeatedly allying himself over the years with people who make no attempt to hide their hatred of America. ”

Obama and McCain “Not since 1972 have we been presented with two such painfully inadequate candidates. When election day came that year, I could not bring myself to vote for either George McGovern or Richard Nixon. I stayed home.

“This year, none of us has that luxury. ”

More later.

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Financial Crisis 2008

It has hit the fan. (And the fred.)

And I’ve been reading up. I thought it would be helpful if I posted links to the articles I’ve been studyingas I read, so that someone else might benefit from finding access all in one place. If you have good links on the financial crisis to recommend, please post them in comments.

Economics writer, and Prodos’ and my friend, Gerard Jackson,wrote an article back in 2004 predicting a recession for the USA in 2008. For his reasons read:

US economy: storm clouds ahead

More recent articles by Gerard Jacksonon the actual financial mess we’re in now, center on monetary policy, rather than on Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, unlike manyarticles by others I’ve read. (And don’t look to Jackson for dubious theories of capitalist greed underlying the crisis. Leave that to Kevin Rudd, our Australian Prime Minister.) Here are some of those monetary policy articles:

The US economy and the world wide monetary disorder

The US is definately in recession

Why the congressional bailout won’t solve the credit crisis

I have a lot more links to articles from other writers, including those addressing Fannie and Freddie – those scoundrels! But that will have to wait until later.


It is now later!

Here are some columns from one of my favorite commentators, Thomas Sowell:

Do Facts Matter?

Bankrupt Exploiters

Bankrupt Exploiters Part II

A Political Solution Part I

A Political Solution Part II

Bailout Politics

From Bailout Politics: “Neither do the voters deserve to be deceived on the eve of an election by the notion that this is a failure of free markets that should be replaced by political micro-managing.

“If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were free market institutions they could not have gotten away with their risky financial practices because no one would have bought their securities without the implicit assumption that the politicians would bail them out. ”


But WHO in the world would imagine this crisis to be caused by a “failure of free markets”? If you’ve been reading newspapers on the mortgage crisis over the past weeks, you’ll have seen plenty of that. And it’s not just in the USA. Here’s the Prime Minister of Australia, Labor’s Kevin Rudd, blaming capitalist greed:

The children of Gordon Gekko

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